Skin cancer is primarily caused by sun exposure. The sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays trigger changes in the skin cells that can lead to cancer. UV radiation is also found in tanning lamps and tanning beds. UV damage causes abnormalities in the top layer of the skin (the epidermis) that can eventually lead to out of control cell divisions and skin cancer.

Unfortunately, UV radiation exposure doesn't explain all skin cancers. It is unclear why skin cancers sometimes develop in parts of the body not exposed to the sun or other sources of UV rays. It is believed that these incidences may be caused by exposure to toxic chemical substances or due to a weakened immune system.

The good news is that you can significantly lower your risk for skin cancer can by making some smart lifestyle changes. 

Learn how to lower your risk of skin cancer.