There are many different causes and risks factors surrounding the possibility of developing skin cancer. Understanding the main skin cancer risk factors can go a long way towards prevention. Below, we have outlined the main skin cancer risk factors; if you fall into one of these groups, consider scheduling an appointment with St. Louis dermatology experts at Laser Lipo and Veins today for a full screening!
As we age, our risk for developing non-melanoma skin cancer rises. However, younger people can also develop skin cancer.
Some research has indicated that some families seem to have a higher risk for skin cancer development; however, it is important to note that most non-melanoma cancers do not run in family.
If you have a parent that developed squamous cell skin cancer, you do have an increased risk level. Finally, because skin type does run in families, those people with fair-skinned family members are at a higher skin cancer risk level.
A previous diagnosis of melanoma will put you in a group that has a three times higher than average chance to develop another skin cancer.
This is perhaps the biggest skin cancer risk factor due to the fact that most skin cancers are a result of sun exposure. This exposure can be long or short term. The UV or ultraviolet light in the sun’s rays damage the skin’s DNA (Note that this damage can actually occur years before the cancer develops).
Those with a history of sunburns are at a higher risk, even if only one or two sunburns have occurred. Those with fair skin who burn easily are also at a higher risk for skin cancer. And don’t forget that those tanning beds are just as risky as natural sunlight!
Those who have skin conditions can also be in a high risk group for developing skin cancer. These skin conditions may include:
If you are in a high skin cancer risk group, it is even more important that you be aware of the signs and symptoms of potential skin cancer. You should reduce your risks and visit a physician on a annual basis for overall skin exams.
We urge anyone who wants to know if they are in danger of developing skin cancer, or anyone who wants more information, to contact us today to schedule a consultation. Our entire St. Louis dermatology staff is very knowledgeable about skin cancer, how to avoid it, and how to effectively treat it.