Causes of Skin Cancer

There can be multiple causes of skin cancer. A family history of skin cancer can be a factor, as well as having very fair skin. However overexposure to UV rays without adequate protection is considered to be the primary cause of skin cancer. This includes UV rays from tanning. Unfortunately most individuals do not use adequate skin protection while in the sun. This includes not wearing enough protecting clothing, not using sunscreen, not using a strong enough sunscreen, not reapplying sunscreen, and/or not using enough sunscreen when applying. Most people receive 80% of their lifetime sun exposure by the age of 18. The negative effects of sun damage are cumulative and build up over years of exposure. This cumulative exposure and damage often results in skin cancers appearing in later adulthood. Most skin cancers occur in body areas that typically receive daily sun exposure such as the head, neck, hands, and forearms.