Who is at risk of developing NMSC?

  • Exposure to UV light is a main factor causing NMSC. UV light directly harms skin cells and also damages the skin’s immune system. UV light may be delivered from natural or artificial sources. The sun emits different types of UV light, including ultraviolet A (UVA; long-wave) and ultraviolet B (UVB; short-wave) rays. Both UVA and UVB reach the earth and play an important role in premature skin aging, eye damage (including cataracts) and certain skin cancers. It is important to know that 90% of the UV light penetrates through clouds so that people at risk need to protect themselves every day, whatever the weather.
  • If you have already had a previous skin cancer or if you currently have actinic keratosis or any type of NMSC there is a risk of developing further NMSC.
  • Having a weakened immune system also increases the risk - this can occur, for example:
    • if you take immunosuppressant medication following an organ transplant
    • if you have a condition that affects the immune system
    • if you receive certain types of treatment for rheumatic conditions
    • if you have a chronic inflammatory disease

With a weakened immune system your skin’s repair mechanism against UV damage is also weakened. In other words, the immune system is less active in fighting the damage that can lead to skin cancer. Ask your doctor or pharmacist whether your current condition and/or medication has any impact on your immune system.

If you are in doubt about whether you are at increased risk for actinic keratosis and other forms of NMSC, please consult a healthcare professional as soon as you can. If you think you are at risk for actinic keratosis and other forms of NMSC then you may wish to consider Actinica® Lotion to help protect your skin and prevent skin damage.