A severe sunburn

What's the Chance of Getting Skin Cancer from a Sunburn?

Most likely you have suffered from a severe sunburn at least once in your life. Hopefully, that one bad burn taught you the importance of sunscreen. But can just one sunburn cause cancer?

First, it's important to know about the type of cancer sunburns can cause.
Melanoma is a dangerous type of skin cancer that develops from severe, blistering sunburns. It’s estimated that roughly 250,000 people will be diagnosed with melanoma this year and 60,000 of them will die.
Unfortunately, even if you never have a sunburn again, research suggests that one severe burn is enough to increase your chances of developing melanoma later in life by 50%. The more bad burns you receive as a child the greater risk you have for melanoma in the future. It is believed that 5 severe sunburns in childhood can increase your chances of skin cancer by 80%. These statistics show just how important it is for parents to make sure their children are protected from damaging UV rays.
Even as an adult, you should continue to protect your skin from the sun to reduce your chances of getting other types of skin cancer. These other forms of skin cancers are caused by UV accumulation over a prolonged period of time.

Last Updated: February 28, 2017

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