Can viruses cause skin cancer?

Dermatologist examining birthmark of patient in clinic.

Skin cancer is a serious type of cancer that may be diagnosed very young. Due to the lack of sun protection and increased use of tanning beds, many patients are diagnosed with skin cancer in their 20s. With proper protection and regular screenings, many patients can reduce their risk of developing skin cancer. But what about viruses? With the recent pandemic and the spread of COVID-19, many patients are interested in learning more about the effects of viruses on our bodies. This may also apply to skin cancer. Continue reading to learn more!

Can viruses cause skin cancer?

There is currently no scientific evidence to support the claim that viruses can cause skin cancer. However, some viruses can cause skin infections that may lead to the development of skin cancer. For example, the human papillomavirus (HPV) is a virus that can cause skin infections and is linked to the development of skin cancer. HPV is a common virus that is spread through sexual contact. There are several different types of HPV, and not all of them are associated with the development of skin cancer. The vast majority of people who develop skin cancer do not have HPV. However, people who have HPV and develop skin cancer are more likely to develop a more aggressive form of skin cancer, such as squamous cell carcinoma.

How can I protect myself from contracting HPV?

While viruses may not directly cause skin cancer, they can contribute to the development of the disease. Therefore, it is essential to practice safe sex and to avoid contact with other people’s bodily fluids, as this can help to reduce the risk of developing HPV and, in turn, some forms of skin cancer.

How often should I be screened for potential skin cancer?

Our team at Rendon Center Dermatology and Aesthetic Medicine strongly encourages patients to have annual skin cancer screenings with one of our dermatologic professionals. These screenings involve evaluating the skin from head to toe to look for any signs of cancerous cells. If a spot is found that is concerning, it may be biopsied and tested to look for cancer. With an early diagnosis, many patients can combat skin cancer and lead normal, healthy lives.

How do I learn more?

Talk to a professional about skin cancer and ways to protect Call yourself. Call Rendon Center Dermatology and Aesthetic Medicine of Boca Raton, FL, at 561-750-0544 to schedule an evaluation and talk to our team about proper skincare habits.

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