Skin Cancer Where The Sun Don’t Shine

HPV Can Cause Skin Cancer

Not all skin cancers are from sun exposure. Viruses such as human papilloma virus (HPV), the virus that causes genital warts, also cause skin cancer. Skin cancer from HPV develops on genital skin in both men and women. It is rarely talked about, but it’s important and can be deadly.

Did you know that half of all deaths from skin cancer other than melanoma are from genital skin cancer? You probably also didn’t know that women are more likely to die from genital skin cancer as they are from skin cancer that developed from sun exposure (again, excluding melanoma).

We dermatologists are inexhaustible when it comes to warning people about the dangers of sun exposure, but we should also be warning people about the dangers of genital warts. HPV protection, which includes HPV vaccines, is as important as sun protection in preventing death from non-melanoma skin cancer.

Genital warts can lead to deadly skin cancer. If your dermatologist has not checked your genital skin, then be sure your primary care physician or gynecologist does. This is especially important, because unlike other STDs which often have symptoms, HPV or genital warts often don’t. It may be embarrassing, but it could save your life.

Photo: practical owl, flickr.

Blood Pressure Meds Lower Skin Cancer Risk

blood-pressure-massdistraction

Taking blood pressure medications might do more than just lower your blood pressure — at least in some cases, they also seem to lower the risk of getting skin cancer. Continue reading “Blood Pressure Meds Lower Skin Cancer Risk”

Heat from the Sun Causes Aging

infrared-greg-donikian

We know that ultraviolet light from the sun causes damage to your skin. That’s because ultraviolet light is a form of radiation. It damages the delicate DNA in your skin cells, leading to aged, damaged skin and to skin cancers. It also causes free radicals to develop in the skin, damaging fragile elastin and destroying collagen, leaving skin wrinkled, lax, and without elasticity. Although most of the damage is done by this high energy form of radiation, new research suggests that even low energy forms of radiation are harmful. Continue reading “Heat from the Sun Causes Aging”