What Causes Skin Cancer?

The number of skin disorders and skin cancer cases seems to be increasing more than ever before. This could be because more research has made us aware of the condition than ever before. Or maybe there is a legitimate reason why there is an increase. For instance, maybe the holes in the ozone layer are causing more ultra violet radiation to strike the earth. So what is behind this increase ? This article will discuss what causes skin cancer.

The most common way somebody will get skin cancer is by being exposed to sunlight for too long. Having a suntan used to be a sign of health and vitality. People used to go out of there way to keep or get an all year tan. These days have gone and people should be discouraged from sunbathing when the only aim is to get a tan.

No doubt if you live in sunny climates this will be old news to you. You may be more familiar with the idea of slip, slop slap. Slip on a shirt, slop on some sunscreen and slap on a hat when out in the sun. This can also be extended to putting on sunglasses too.

The underlying point is that over exposure to the sun for a long time is a recipe for skin cancer. The level of exposure that a person must receive to develop the disease depends largely on their skin type.

It’s pretty simple, people that burn easily in the sun stand a greater risk of getting skin cancer. And this increases the more times they get burned by the sun. This makes a lot of sense as burning is painful. And pain is a the body’s warning sign to avoid doing something. However people ignore this warning sign, are lazy or have to work outdoors. These conditions increase the number of people that get burned in the sun and thus increase the number of people that will get skin cancer.

People with fair skin, blond or red hair and light colored eyes are more prone to burn in the sun. This is because they have less melanin in the body. Melanin is a substance that exists in the skin, eyes and hair. One of the effects it has on these parts of the body is to give them color or pigmentation. People with fair hair, blue eyes or pale skin have less melanin than people with dark hair, brown eyes and dark skin.

Melanin protects the skin by making it darker whenever it is exposed to sunlight. This is commonly known as a suntan and is the body’s way of preventing sunburn. However, the line between a suntan and sun damaged skin is an extremely thin one.

Thus exposure to Ultraviolet radiation will cause skin cancer. The most common way to be exposed to this is by coming into contact with sunlight. When you think you will be in the sun, you should wear a hat, long sleeves shirts to protect your torso and arms, sunglasses and 30+ SPF sunscreen on the face and other areas that are exposed.

by Adrian Whittle

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