Why Your Skin Cancer Risks Increase as You Age

Dermatologist,Examining,Moles,Of,Patient,On,Light,Background Skin cancer risks rise as you age, regardless of the steps you’re taking to reduce those risks. Did you know that 20% of people will have some form of skin cancer by the time they reach 70? First OC Dermatology explains why.

Skin Damage Compounds

Most skin cancer is indeed caused by exposure to UV light—whether that light comes from the sun or a tanning bed. Damage adds up over the years. You may have already noticed how the texture of your skin is changing. It may feel rougher and drier in places than it used to. You may have creases and, eventually, wrinkles that don’t go away.

Over the years, you’ve probably had a sunburn at least once or twice. You may have actively tried to get a tan, which took multiple long sessions in the sun. Even if you’ve generally avoided this more extreme sun damage, you still have daily exposure, with or without sunscreen. Each time, the cells receive a minor damage that never fully heals, but that’s not the end.

Free Radicals Damage the DNA

Each time you’re exposed to UV, your body produces free radicals. These are unstable molecules because they’re missing an electron. To compensate, they steal electrons from nearby healthy cells. That robbed cell then becomes unstable in a chain reaction that damages DNA. Because the DNA tells the body how to make new cells, its damage causes the body to make cells that don’t do what they’re supposed to.

For example, DNA tells cells how long they should live before they die to make way for the new. If they miss these instructions, they don’t die and continue multiplying.

The human body eliminates some of these free radicals with the help of the body’s natural detoxification systems. However, it can only do so much, and this ability decreases as you age.

Regular Skin Cancer Screenings Become More Essential With Age

Most common skin cancers can be easily and entirely removed with Mohs micrographic surgery, so there’s no reason to wait. Schedule a skin cancer screening with First OC Dermatology in Irvine, CA, by calling (949) 679-9997. We look forward to seeing you.


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Sat & Sun: Closed



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