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8936 Blakeney Professional Drive 
Charlotte, NC 28277

Skin cancer risk and tanning

Skin cancer in Charlotte is one of the most common forms of cancer, with half of Americans who live to be 65 developing skin cancer at least once. We know that significant exposure to sunlight greatly increases one’s risk for skin cancer and using tanning beds before age 35 can increase your risk of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, by 59 percent. The statistics become much grimmer for those who started using a tanning bed before they turned 35. Skin cancer is not the result of being in the sun per se, it is exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays, even if you are not trying to get a tan.

How does skin cancer develop?

There is no such thing as a healthy tan! Once our skin is exposed to UV radiation (particularly UVB rays) there is an increase in melanin, a skin pigment. This pigment causes the skin color to change and is a sign of damage. When the skin is burned, the damage actually causes mutations within your skin’s DNA, creating abnormal cells which then begin to grow uncontrollably, creating a tumor. The most common type of cell found in the skin is called a keratinocyte. Basal cells are a specific type of keratinocyte in the top layer of skin. This is where basal cancer cells develop. Squamous cancer cells also develop from keratinocytes in the skin. There are cells in the deeper layers of the skin called melanocytes, which are responsible for the production of melanin. These are the cells that can become cancerous in melanoma.

Do only people with light skin get skin cancer?

Although it is more common among people with a light skin tone, anyone can get skin cancer. Although dark skin does not burn as easily as light skin, people who don’t burn are still at risk for skin cancer. Being in the sun damages every kind of skin. As we mentioned above, sunlight causes damage through ultraviolet rays. The two types of ultraviolet radiation, UVA and UVB, both cause damage to skin. It’s also important to remember that the sun isn’t the only cause of skin cancer. There are other causes, and that is why skin cancer may be found in places on the body that are never exposed to the sun. Skin cancer commonly affects both men and women from adolescence and older. Rarely, will younger children develop skin cancer.

Skin cancer screening in Charlotte, NC

Your risk for skin cancer can depend upon many factors. If you are finding it difficult to live with your condition, Dermatology Specialists of Charlotte can provide high quality and innovative treatment in a caring and professional environment. Dr. Nixon is a board-certified dermatologist, whose dedication, experience, and knowledge will provide the best possible treatment for your cosmetic and medical dermatology concerns.

Dermatology Specialists of Charlotte also offers surgical dermatology. They provide a full range of cosmetic offerings such as skin tightening, fat reduction, chemical peels, Botox treatments, microdermabrasion, and more. They provide treatment for both adult and pediatric patients. Call their office today for a skin care evaluation and skin cancer screening, or for any other skin condition.


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