Skin cancer is a common cancer and it is life threatening. But the effectiveness of the treatment will improve if you are able to detect skin cancer early. However, you should know what the risk factors for this type of cancer are as this will help you reduce your chances of developing it.

Something that you should always be careful of is sun exposure.

The UV radiation we get from the sun is the main reason for the development of skin cancers. So if you are spending a long time in the sun without wearing protection in the form of SPF and protective clothing, you will be at a higher risk. You should also be checking for skin cancer signs by carrying out a self-examination of your entire body once a month at least. This will help you identify any suspicious moles or any changes in your skin. Also, if you have a higher risk of skin cancer, it is best to have a yearly examination carried out by a board certified dermatologist. Tanning is a popular pastime for many people. Sun lamps and tanning beds are used for this. But the temporary effect of a tan can cost you a lifetime of pain as the UV radiation emitted by these tanning beds can damage the skin significantly.

There are also people that are more at risk of developing skin cancer.

If you are fair skinned with light coloured hair and freckles, you are in this category. This is because you have less melanin to protect your skin from UV radiation. Some also have a family history of skin cancer. So if there is somebody in your family who has had skin cancer, you need to be extra careful. Your skin also changes with age and it tends to become thinner over time. Your skin will become more vulnerable to skin damage which will also increase the risk of skin cancer. So you need to take the right precautions to prevent the risk from going up. And studies have found that men are more likely to develop skin cancer by the age of 50 than women especially when it comes to melanomas.

There are also certain medical conditions that will increase your risk factor.

 If you have a weakened immune system, your risk will go up. Also, you need to consider your exposure to certain chemicals like arsenic. If your job requires you to be in close contact with such chemicals, you need to keep in mind that your risk of skin cancer increases. Therefore, you need to monitor your skin carefully for any irregularities. Some bad habits like smoking can increase your risk as well. This is because this damages the skin. Also, where you live will impact the level of UV radiation you are exposed to. So if you are living at a higher altitude, you are exposed more which increases your risk. Even if you are at risk because of genetics, you can reduce this by making certain changes to your lifestyle such as avoiding smoking, tanning beds and reducing consumption of alcohol