Sun is the number one cause of premature skin aging. The author lists risk factors for skin damage and skin cancer. Good read right in time for the summer.

The main risk factor for sunburn, premature skin aging, skin damage, and skin cancer is exposure to UV light from the sun. More than 90 percent of skin cancers are caused by sun exposure. Using tanning beds and tanning lamps also increases the risk for skin damage and skin cancer.

The risk for skin damage and skin cancer is related to the number of sunburns a person experiences throughout his or her lifetime. The following physical characteristics also increase the risk for sunburn, skin damage, and skin cancer:

  • Blond or red hair
  • Blue or green eyes
  • Fair skin
  • Freckles
  • Moles (also called nevi)

The risk for skin damage and skin cancer is higher in people with lighter skin. However, people who have darker skin also must protect their skin from the sun to reduce lifetime exposure to harmful UV rays and help prevent skin damage and skin cancer. Lifetime exposure to the sun, which is associated with an increased risk for skin cancer, often is higher in older people and in men.

Certain medications (e.g., antibiotics, antidepressants, acne medications [retinoids]) can increase sun sensitivity. Patients should speak with a physician about medications that can make the skin more sensitive to the sun.

Read more at Remedy’s Health Communities – First published on August 22, 2008