Skin cancer is an extremely common condition, occurring due to the abnormal growth of skin cells. Most often, skin cancer occurs in patients who have been greatly exposed to sunlight. There are three main types of skin cancer – basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer, although it is fortunately rare. Any noticeable skin abnormalities a patient experiences should be examined by a dermatologist.

Let’s take at closer look at some major risk factors of skin cancer.

Top Risk Factors for Skin Cancer

Overexposure to sun. Patients who spend a great deal of time in the sun are especially at risk for skin cancer, especially if sunscreen is not being used. Despite what many people think, indoor tanning also puts skin at risk for cancer. Tanning beds and booths, which are still especially popular among teenagers, expose skin to an excessive amount of  unsafe UV radiation!

  1. Family history. If a member of your family has had skin cancer, then you may have a predisposition to getting skin cancer yourself.
  2. Fair skin. Although anyone can get skin cancer, people with fair skin are at an increased risk for skin cancer. Having less pigmentation in the skin means that there will be less protection from UV radiation.
  3. A personal history of severe sunburns. At some point in their lives, most people will experience some kind of sunburn. However, having a series of blistering, painful sunburns as either a child, teenager, or adult can significantly increase one’s chances for skin cancer later on.

When it comes to diagnosing skin cancer, your dermatologist will first evaluate changes in your skin, and run tests that can confirm the diagnosis and its severity.  Once a positive skin cancer diagnosis is made, your dermatologist can design an effective treatment plan.

If you have any questions or concerns about skin cancer and its treatment, contact us today   to schedule a consultation.  Our office is located in Frederick, Maryland. We can be reached at 301-662-6755 We look forward to hearing from you!