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Causes Of Skin Cancer

Mar 7, 2008
Skin cancer is a disease that seems to be more common with each passing day. This may be because more research is done on the disease and people have become far more aware of skin cancer now. Or maybe people are getting skin cancer more than they used to because of environmental conditions like the increase in ultraviolet radiation from the sun due to holes in the ozone layer. So what is behind this increase? This article will discuss what causes skin cancer.

Probably, the most commonly cited skin cancer cause is being exposed to sunlight for extended periods of time. Do you remember when people used to boast about the great suntan they got during their vacation?

Well this isn't the way these days. If you live in a part of the world where the sun beats down and maybe the ozone layer has been depleted no doubt you are used to the mantra of slip, slop, slap. Slip on a shirt, slop on a hat and slap on a 30+ sun protection factor sunscreen.

The point is that, although it is nice to sit in the sun from time to time, over exposure to the sun for a long time is a recipe for skin cancer. The extent of over exposure that a person must receive depends largely on their skin type.

A person whose skin burns quickly in the sun is most at risk to skin cancer. The telltale signs of burning are the skin turning red, puffing up or peeling. Ultimately it is sore to touch and may last a few days before the pain recedes. Pain is the body's way of saying something is wrong. People often ignore the pain to the long term detriment of the skin and health.

People with less melanin will burn more easily than others. Melanin is a substance that exists in the skin, eyes and hair of a person. One of it's characteristics is that it gives these parts of the body color or pigmentation. So in general, people with less melanin will have blond or red hair. They will have lighter colored eyes, like blue or gray colored eyes. And most importantly their skin will be paler. People with little or no melanin in the body have a condition known as Albinism. Albinos will have no color in their skin, hair and eyes.

The way that melanin protects the skin is by darkening it whenever it comes in contact with sunlight. this is commonly known as a suntan and is the body's way of preventing sunburn and thus skin cancer. However, it is an extremely fine line between getting a suntan and going to far and getting sun damaged skin.

Being exposed to Ultraviolet radiation is another cause of skin cancer. This may happen in a work environment but is most common in the humble sun bed. The sun bed is a popular way to get a tan all year round but overuse of the bed puts your skin at risk to damage and ultimately skin cancer.

To finish, exposure to UV radiation will cause skin cancer. You should take action to avoid being exposed to UV radiation, most commonly by being exposed to the sun. At all times, when in the sun you should wear a hat, clothing to protect your body, sunglasses and sunscreen on areas of the body that are nor concealed like the face.
About the Author
For information on common first signs of skin cancer and the different types of skin cancer then see symptomsofskincancer.net
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