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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

    12 Ways to Protect Your Skin and Prevent Skin Cancer

    By Leslie PepperHow coffee protects you, and 11 other surprising ways to stop the most common cancer 1. All doctors are not created equal: When researchers from Emory University School of Medicine looked at the records of more than 2,000 melanoma patients, they found that those whose growths had been diagnosed by a dermatologist were more likely to have early-stage cancer — and to survive their disease — than those who'd been diagnosed by another kind of doctor. It may be that dermatologists...

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    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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