Mutations in the DNA of skin cells is essentially why skin cancer develops. Such mutations lead to the accelerated growth of affected skin cells, which then forms a mass of cancerous cells. It is the skin’s top layer, known as the dermis, where cancer forms. Three kinds of cells reside in this layer. These are basal cells, squamous cells and melanocytes. Malignancy can occur in any of these types of cells, and treatment is determined by which cells are affected.
What Causes Skin Cancer?
Exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet light is one of the main culprits in the mutation of skin cells leading to cancer. Tanning bed UV light is just as dangerous as that of natural sunlight. It is common to see cancerous lesions in areas where the sun reaches your skin; however, skin cancers do appear elsewhere on the body. This is a strong indication that UV exposure isn’t the only factor in the onset of skin cancer. A weakened immune system can cause the DNA in skin cells to mutate, as can exposure to various types of toxic substances.
Other Risk Factors
Science has shown that there are a number of risk factors that can increase your chances of getting skin cancer in your lifetime. Pale skin is one of these because there is less melanin, or pigment, in fair skin to provide protection from UV rays. Anyone who has had many sunburns during their early years is also susceptible. Along these lines, those with lifestyles exposing them regularly to the sun are at risk. Abnormal moles or precancerous skin lesions can become cancerous. Be on the lookout for abnormal-looking moles and brown or pinkish scaly patches of skin. If you or your family have a history of any type of skin cancers, always be sure to be examined regularly for warning signs. Finally, if you suffer from an immune weakening medical condition or take immuno-suppressant medications, you are more likely to acquire skin cancer.
Prevention and Diagnosis
Your risk of skin cancer can be minimized by taking some precautions such as avoiding sun exposure during the hottest part of the day, always wearing sunscreen all year long, knowing whether your medications increase sun sensitivity and avoiding tanning beds. Also, you should be aware of what to look for regarding the formation of skin cancers and monitor yourself regularly. Changes in the appearance of moles, freckles, sunspots or the development of new growths should be examined by our medical professional if you are concerned. Our team can often identify suspicious signs merely through a physical examination.
Always take the precautions listed above to minimize your chances of finding yourself facing skin cancer. Also, make sure to contact Dermatology Laser Center and MediSpa in Owings Mills right away if you notice any of these signs. Early detection is critical in the success rate of treatment. If you have any suspicions, contact us today to schedule a consultation.