The Leading Causes of Skin Cancer in Young People

couple riding on tandem bicycle outdoors near the sea Skin cancers can have some of the highest rates of 5-year survival for melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers. However, if treatment isn’t sought in an adequate amount of time and the cancer spreads, survival rates decrease considerably.

One way to protect yourself is through skin cancer screenings, which can help identify cancers early. But when should you go get one? There is no one standardized answer. Skin cancer screenings and the frequency you get them depend on you and your risk factors.

With skin cancer being one of the most prevalent cancers in young people, knowing the leading causes and risks can guide you towards early treatment, potentially saving your life. Here are the leading causes of skin cancer in young people.

Not Using Sunscreen

While getting in sunlight may be good for you, helping synthesize vitamin D, elevate mood, and increase the strength of your immune system, getting too much sun can be harmful.

UV light can cause skin damage, increasing your risk of developing skin cancer. Studies have shown that younger people have exhibited poor habits with sunscreen usage.

The recommendation for sunscreen is to utilize sunscreen with an SPF that’s 15 or higher. The major importance of sunscreen is to reapply at least every two hours and more if needed.


Tanning, whether outdoors or with a tanning bed, can severely increase the risk of developing skin cancer. Just one tanning session with a tanning bed before age 35 leads to a 75% increased risk of developing skin cancer.

Outdoor tanning isn’t much safer. Tanning, in general, is a damage response by your body. The UV rays create damage at the cellular level with your DNA.

If you are after a tan look, utilize bronzers, spray tans, and self-tanners to keep your skin safe from the sun and reduce your risk of developing skin cancer.

Skin Cancer Treatment in South Florida

Don’t underestimate your risks of skin cancer. One in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. Exercising proper skin care and caution is an excellent way of mitigating risks. Working with trusted, experienced dermatologists is another way to protect your skin.

Hollywood Dermatology & Cosmetic Specialists in South Florida has multiple board-certified dermatologists ready to help you develop a personalized plan for your skin. With five locations around Florida, including Hollywood, Pembroke Pines, Hallandale, West Miramar, and Doral, their expert care is never too far away.

To schedule a screening or learn more about protecting yourself from skin cancer, call 954-961-1200.

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