Is Skin Cancer Only Caused by the Sun?

Skin cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer that exists. While it is unfortunate that it’s common, it has helped us research exactly what causes it. It is commonly known that UV damage from the sun causes skin cancer. However, you may be wondering, “Is there anything else that causes skin cancer?” Well, yes, there is. Let’s delve into why UV damage causes skin cancer, other causes of skin cancer, and the importance of skin cancer screening.

Understanding Skin Cancer

To better understand other causes of skin cancer, it’s best to know how it develops. Skin cancer is created when damaged DNA is used to create more damaged cells. When this happens, there’s a chance those cells will become cancerous and grow. This is why sun damage is the most common cause of skin cancer. UV damages the skin and can lead to the production of more damaged skin cells.

Other Causes of Skin Cancer


Certain chemicals have the ability to damage your cells, similar to how the sun does. Arsenic, paraffin, coal, and industrial tar can all cause non-melanoma skin cancer. This includes even some types of oil.


Certain viruses, like HPV, can increase the chance of developing skin cancer. This is also true for another virus known as the eighth human herpes virus. While catching these viruses does not guarantee cancer growth, it increases your risk.


Radiation, similar to UV radiation, can damage your skin cells and lead to cancerous growths. While radiation isn’t an issue for most people, there are certain professions where radiation exposure is a genuine concern.


While smoking is generally considered unhealthy, it can also lead to squamous cell skin cancer on the lips. This is likely due to carcinogens in the cigarette themselves damaging the skin cells of the lip.

Screening Matters

The best way to overcome any cancer is to catch it early on. Skin cancer can be difficult to spot if it’s in areas you don’t normally see. That’s why annual skin cancer screening is so important to your health. Our staff at Dermatology Consultants of Short Hills provides skin cancer screening and melanoma treatments. Our team of doctors strives to provide thorough, detailed, and comfortable skin treatments to protect the body’s largest organ. When it’s time for your annual skin cancer screening, trust our team and contact us at 973-232-6245.

Recent Posts