UV Exposure & the Risk of Skin Cancer

While the warm toasty summer sun seems immensely inviting after a long spell of spine-chilling winters, too much of it can cause severe damage to the skin. Sometimes, this damage can evolve into skin cancer. There are three basic kinds of skin cancer common in people exposed to extreme UV rays of the sun.

Let’s take a look at these skin cancer types.

The Basal Cell Carcinoma

The BCC cancer of the skin is almost always caused by sun damage. It occurs as a shiny, pink raised spot on the skin. The skin affected by BCC becomes extremely soft, which makes it easily susceptible to tears and injuries. This is one reason why people often mistake it to be a regular scab. However, if this scab keeps returning on the same spot, no matter what you do, you need to see a doctor. This type of cancer does not normally spread, but it does grow deeper and bigger if ignored for a long time.

The Squamous Cell Carcinoma

The SCC is another type of skin cancer that could occur due to extreme exposure to the UV rays of the sun. However, the sun is not the only cause of SCC. It can also result from chronic skin ulcers or in burn injuries/scars. There have been a handful of cases where the SCC has spread to the patient’s lymph nodes. Occasions where this cancer has spread to other organs are rare. This type of skin cancer varies in severity and sometimes may require surgery to be removed.

The Malignant Melanoma

This is probably the least occurring type of skin cancer. However, the number of people diagnosed with melanoma is increasing every year. A greater majority of these people are young women aged between 18 and 29 years. It is the extensive use of tanning beds among this population that has caused melanoma to rise. It may be uncommon, but melanoma is dangerous. It can occur almost anywhere on the body where there are pigment-producing cells. This includes the skin, the moles, the eyes, and even birthmarks. If left ignored, melanoma can spread to respective lymph nodes and, at times, to other organs too.

Now that you know how damaging over-exposure to the sun can be for your skin, make sure you take all the precautions needed to protect yourself from it.