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Cancer defines a grouped number of diseases that involve abnormal growth of cells that can potentially invade any organ in the body. It is ranked as a disease that is more common commonly diagnosed than a lot of ailments in this day and age. Surprisingly, it has even surpassed HIV. The process a cancer patient undergoes transitioning into a cancer survivor is filled with distress and emotion particularly during early stages of treatment. A type of cancer that has become common in our community is skin cancer. This article is aimed at educating the masses on some of the causes of skin cancer.

Triggers of skin cancer

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Sunlight has its advantages. It provides light and heat required to maintain metabolism in our bodies. Infrared rays specifically produce
heat. UV radiation, on the other hand, is also a part of sunlight that results in sunburns and skin corrosion leading to aging prematurely and cancer of the skin. They are of different types e.g. UVA radiation that penetrates the deeper part of the skin resulting in tampering of skin cells (living) under the surface of the skin. It causes wrinkling of the skin and sagging. UVB, on the other hand, penetrates the top part of the skin layer. It causes tanning of the skin, cancer of the skin and sunburns. Both examples are potentially harmful in triggering skin cancer.

Sunburn

Once UV penetrates deep into your skin layer while you are out enjoying the sun, the skin gets ‘burnt’ literally. Skin turns red in color in a span of two to six hours of exposure. It’s important to note that to the eyes, a sunburn may seem healed, but the damage left lasts for years. Remember cancerous skin is mostly from wounds that healed under the skin topology instead of shedding off. To avoid this equip you with a hat, SPF 30 sunscreen or preferably higher, look for shade and don’t forget your sunglasses.

Tanning

Exposure to UV radiation in any form apart from sunlight e.g. solarium can damage your skin. A tan is a group of skin cells that are in trauma. No matter the severity, it is a sign that skin has already been damaged. Repeated exposure builds up damage exponentially risking triggering skin cancer. Melanin is a pigment that is released on exposure to UV radiation, it’s located on the top layers of the skin and contributes largely to change of skin color and tanning. The release of this pigment is a way of your body warning about levels of UV.

Fake tan lotions

gdhfcdtkrydfgcvfthgThey come in all flavors, designs and promises of no side effects. Fake tans contain a dye that will for only a moment coat your skin giving off a tanned-like appearance. The dye then binds to your skin and later comes off when dead cells fall off. It’s arguably a good alternative when exposing your skin to UV. Note that many of these products will provide protection for the first couple of hours not for the amount of time they last on the surface of the skin.

Solariums

This is an artificial machine used in tanning which uses high levels of UV in introducing a tan. Just like in the sun, they produce both UVA and UVB types of radiation (Known to cause skin cancer). According to research by various parties, solariums are seen to produce higher levels of concentrated UV than even sunlight! This has directly linked them to a dangerous type of skin cancer called melanoma thus it’s not recommended for use in any application.