Knowing Your Skin Cancer Risk

Your skin works as an amazing natural barrier for your body. However, that natural barrier is under attack by UV light from the sun every day. The vast majority of skin cancers are caused by UV exposure to the skin. So what can we do about it? Well, one of the best ways to get ahead of skin cancer is to be aware of what your risks are. Let’s get into the various things that put you at higher risk of skin cancer and how often you should get a skin cancer screening.

Common Skin Cancer Risks

Light Skin or Complexion

As mentioned above, skin cancer is primarily caused by UV exposure to the skin. Skin naturally mitigates UV light’s damage through melanin. The more melanin you have in your skin, the less damaged your skin will become from the sun. Melanin is also what darkens the skin. When you have less melanin in your skin, the lighter it is. Unfortunately, the lighter your skin, the higher your risk of skin cancer through UV exposure.


Unfortunately, some people are genetically predisposed to developing skin cancer because of family genetics or if they’ve had skin cancer in the past. Skin cancer is caused by damaged DNA replicating and becoming cancerous. If your genetics are predisposed to making damaged DNA, then you’re at a higher risk. However, just because a family member has had skin cancer doesn’t mean you will get it too.


Sun tanning and tanning beds both greatly increase your chances of developing skin cancer. Both rely on UV like to darken the skin and can lead to sunburns. While it’s unlikely that the occasional tan will cause skin cancer to develop, it will inherently increase your risk. Repeated tanning through UV is a high skin cancer risk factor.

Skin Cancer Screening

Skin cancer, like all cancer, needs to be caught in the early stages for the best possible chance of recovery. You should be screened for skin cancer at least once a year or more if you have any of these risk factors. Our team at American Dermatology Associates Inc. provides skin cancer screening and can help you understand your risk factors.

Our mission is to provide you with kind, compassionate, and sensitive skin care. We understand that knowing is half the battle and want to make sure you’re in the know about your skin. Contact our staff at 941-379-6647 if you’re ready to take that first step toward skin cancer prevention.

Posted in: Skin Cancer

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