Today, most people know that UV-radiation and the following sunburns are risk factors for white skin cancer, so-called basal cell carcinoma. Austrian plastic surgeon and skin specialist Dr. Brigitta Balogh says protection is important, but fast treatment is key when detecting changes in one’s skin. 95 per cent of all basal cell carcinomas are the result of too much direct exposure to sunlight, even though genetic factors play a role as well. The human skin actually memorises each sunburn, so that damage caused by UV-radiation adds up over the years – until a certain barrier is crossed and the skin develops cancerous cells. Avoiding direct sunlight is the best prophylaxis. “People should protect the parts of the skin that are most exposed to sunlight,”says Dr. Balogh, especially the face.

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