What causes skin cancer?

What causes skin cancer?

  1. The causes of skin cancer are related to lifestyle and/or genetics.
    Frequent sunburn – as long as you avoid being sunburnt regularly, you reduce the risk of skin cancer developing. Sunburn at a young age carries a higher risk of developing skin cancer than sunburn in later life, so make sure children are well protected.
  2. Prolonged sun exposure – some people’s skin does not particularly react to the sun and burn easily, but prolonged exposure to the sun increases the risk of skin cancer.
  3. Advancing age – the rate of skin cancer increases, for men and women, over the age of 50.
  4. Family history – if your parents or siblings have had skin cancer you have a higher risk if developing the disease.
  5. Number of moles – this is genetically determined, but a mole count of more than 100 increases our risk to above average.
  6. Your skin type – your skin will fall in to one of four categories

Fair skin is prone to burning and doesn’t have the ability to tan. This type has the highest risk of skin cancer.

Frequently burns, rarely tans. This skin type also has a higher risk than types 3 and 4.

Frequently tans, sometimes burns. Lower lifetime risk.
Tans quite easily and almost never burns. Low lifetime risk