5 Skin Cancer Risk Factors to Consider

Ensuring the long-term health and beauty of your skin means always being diligent about sun protection—yes, even during the cool, mild weather associated with early spring in Charleston, SC. Skin cancer treatment and prevention are both important to our team at Germain Dermatology. Fortunately, this disease, which occurs due to the uncontrollable development of mutated skin cells in the surface layer of the skin, is highly preventable.

While skin cancer can appear anywhere on the body, it typically occurs on parts that receive the most sun exposure, such as the scalp, face, lips, neck, chest, hands, and arms. Note that growths can also show up on parts that are usually covered up.

Anyone who is concerned about skin cancer should consider the following risk factors.

Excessive Sun Exposure

Skin cancer risk rises with unprotected, prolonged or intense exposure to harmful UV radiation from the sun or artificial sources. Not wearing sunscreen or protective clothing increases your risk. People who live in hot climates or high altitudes are more susceptible. Cumulative skin damage from multiple blistering sunburns significantly raises the risk of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.

Skin Type

Skin cancer can occur on all skin tones and ethnicities. However, people who naturally have very fair skin that usually burns instead of tanning, red or blond hair, and light eyes are more prone to getting sunburned and developing skin cancer. These people typically freckle or redden easily.

Abnormal Moles

Having a large number of moles or unusual moles (dysplastic nevi) are factors that may be linked to skin cancer. Patients should monitor their skin for any spots or blemishes that look different from other moles and new growths.


Your family history will also be a strong influence on your skin cancer risk. People who have close family members like parents or siblings who have had skin cancer should be more vigilant about protecting their skin.

Weakened Immune System

Some diseases, infections, and medications can cause a suppressed immune state that makes developing skin cancer more likely.

Want to learn more about skin cancer warning signs, prevention, and treatment? The Germain Dermatology team would be more than happy to address any questions or concerns you have. Visit us in Charleston, SC, call 843-881-4440 to speak directly with us, send a message online, or use our online booking tool to get in touch.

Germain Dermatology Cares About Your Health

Given the health issues at stake our state, country, and world right now, the Germain Dermatology team is working to maximize the safety of our patients, team, and community. While that means a short-term lack of access to cosmetic treatments, such as botulinum toxin injectables, Charleston, SC, area women and men with skin concerns are still welcomed and encouraged to contact us for help.

Germain Dermatology is operating on a limited schedule for the next couple of weeks, maintaining office hours from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The office is also now offering TeleDerm virtual visits, so patients can virtually meet with our providers without leaving their home. These visits require a phone, tablet, laptop, or other computer that has a camera and microphone enabled. TeleDerm appointments can be scheduled over the phone or online. In the online booking tool, select “Established Patient — Virtual Visit” when prompted to choose a patient type. You should then be able to see time slots available for a virtual appointment.

While COVID-19 is taking the health focus these days, and is driving the difficult decisions we are making as a practice, it is also not the only health risk to be aware of. Skin cancer, and especially melanoma, is still a critical concern for patients who have diagnosed or suspected cases. Since time is of the essence when it comes to identifying and treating fast-moving skin cancer, do not hesitate to reach out to us for advice, guidance, and care.

Finally, if you have a cough, fever, shortness of breath, or other symptoms that seem to be indicative of COVID-19, please let us know during your virtual consultation or phone call, so we can schedule accordingly in order to minimize risk while pursuing your skincare needs.

For more information about virtual visits, care during this time of social distancing, and addressing skin concerns, call us at (843) 881-4440 or send a message online.