Excessive exposure to the sun and its ultraviolet (UV) rays can cause skin cancer. Ultraviolet light comes from the sun’s rays but is invisible to humans. Two of the three forms of ultraviolet light, UVA and UVB rays, reach the earth and can damage a person’s skin and eyes. These UV rays are the main causes of damage to the skin from the sun. Certain factors may mean that you have an increased risk of developing skin cancer:
- A personal history of skin cancer.
- A family member with skin cancer.
- Abnormal moles (atypical moles), or moles larger than 6 mm (0.2 in.), about the size of a pencil eraser.
- Fair skin that burns or freckles easily and does not tan.
Long-term effects of exposure include premature aging, wrinkling, skin damage and sometimes skin cancer.