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    Cause

    Nonmelanoma skin 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

    Understanding Skin Cancer -- Symptoms

    If you are in a high-risk group for skin cancer or have ever been treated for some form of the disease, you should familiarize yourself with how skin cancers look. Examine your skin from head to toe every few months, using a full-length mirror and hand mirror to check your mouth, nose, scalp, palms, soles, backs of ears, genital area, and between the buttocks. Cover every inch of skin and pay special attention to moles and sites of previous skin cancer. If you find a suspicious growth, have it examined...

    Read the Understanding Skin Cancer -- Symptoms article > >

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 14, 2014
    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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