Causes of Skin Cancer By Dr. Lombardi on June 30, 2020

A cancer diagnosis can change someone’s life in an instant. Skin cancer is one of the more common types of cancer in the United States. More than 9,500 people are diagnosed with skin cancer each day. Shockingly enough, two people die of the disease each hour in the United States. Most often, people associate skin cancer with those who fail to use SPF, have extremely fair skin, or who have spent time in tanning beds. However, it can affect anyone due to the various causes of skin cancer.

Skin Cancer Causes

Skin cancer develops when mutations happen in the DNA of skin cells. The mutations cause the cells to grow out of control and form large amounts of cancerous cells. Skin cancer begins on the top layer of your skin. The top layer of your skin is known as the epidermis. This thin layer of skin protects your body’s skin cells, which continually shed. The epidermis contains three different types of cells that relate to the three most common types of cancer. Depending on where your skin cancer begins is the determining factor of the type of skin cancer you have.

Most DNA damage related to skin cells is a result of UV rays from sunlight or tanning beds. Excess exposure is a common cause of skin cancer. Also, exposure to toxic substances or certain conditions that weaken your immune system can lead to skin cancer.

Types of Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is the abnormal growth of skin cells, and it most often occurs on skin exposed to the sun. However, it can also form on areas that are not exposed to the sun. Most often, skin cancer comes in three different forms, including basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. There are other rarer types of skin cancer, but these are the most common.

Basal Cell Carcinoma:

This type of skin cancer usually occurs on sun-exposed skin, most often found on the neck or face areas. Below you will find some of the physical signs of this type of skin cancer.

  • Bleeding or scabbing sores that heal and return
  • Pearly or waxy bumps
  • Flat and flesh-colored or scar-like lesions

Squamous Cell Carcinoma:

This type of skin cancer is also often found in your body’s sun-exposed areas, most often the face, hands, and ear areas. Those with darker skin are more likely to develop this type on areas that aren’t regularly exposed to the sun. Below you will find some of the physical signs of this type of skin cancer.

  • Firm, red nodules
  • Flat lesions with scaly, crusted surfaces


Unlike the other two types of skin cancer, this type can develop anywhere on your body. It can appear on areas where your skin looks normal or on an existing mole. It often appears on the face or the trunk of the abdomen in men who get this type of cancer. For women, it often appears on the lower leg area. Melanoma can affect people of all skin tones. And it affects those with darker skin tones slightly differently. That’s because it can occur on the palms, soles of feet, or even under finger or toenails. Below you will find some of the physical signs of this type of skin cancer.

  • Large brownish spots with darker speckles
  • Painful lesions that itch or burn
  • Small lesions with irregular borders, including parts that are red, pink, white, blue, or blue-black
  • Dark lesions on the palms, soles, finger or toenails, or the lining of the mouth, nose, vagina, or anus areas

Dermatology in Tampa, Florida

If you have any abnormal skin issues or think you may have skin cancer, contact Dr. Milan Lombardi at Lombardi Institute of Dermatology. Dr. Lombardi has been working with patients for years, helping them with various skin and dermatological issues. He can recognize the causes of skin cancer and work to find a treatment for you. Dr. Lombardi and his team focus on addressing your concerns and providing you with the most effective treatment options. Contact Dr. Lombardi today for an appointment!

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