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Cause

Nonmelanomaskin cancer is usually caused by overexposure to the sun and its ultraviolet (UV) rays. Overexposure to UV rays can result from:

  • Having severe sunburn and blistering, especially during childhood.
  • Spending a lot of time in the sun over many years.
  • Using tanning beds or sunlamps, which are artificial sources of UV rays.

Other possible causes of skin cancer include repeated exposure to X-rays, certain chemicals (such as arsenic, coal tar, creosote), and radioactive substances (such as radium). Skin cancer may also be caused by ionizing radiation treatments for skin conditions such as psoriasis or acne.

Recommended Related to Melanoma/Skin Cancer

Stay Safe in the Sun After Skin Cancer

If you've had skin cancer, you don't need to stay indoors and read a book while everyone else is out riding a bike or at a ball game. You do need to be extra careful in the sun, though. "We want to encourage a healthy lifestyle," says Lisa Chipps, MD, director of dermatologic surgery at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. But once you've had a skin cancer, she says, you're more likely to have another. If you've had a melanoma, the most serious skin cancer, you're nine times more likely to have a new one...

Read the Stay Safe in the Sun After Skin Cancer article > >

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: July 30, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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