Does sunburn lower the risk of skin cancer?

Molecular signaling that triggers the skin to burn in excessive sunlight helps the body destroy damaged cells that can turn malignant.

What is skin cancer?

This disease refers to the following types of malignant tumors – basal cell carcinoma /basal cell cancer/, squamous cell cancer /squamous cell carcinoma/ and melanoma. The main risk factor for this oncological disease is ultraviolet radiation, the source of which is sunlight.

Basal cell carcinoma

The most common form of skin cancer and affects the superficial skin layers. It usually occurs on exposed areas of the skin – the face, neck, scalp. The nasolabial folds, the wings of the nose, the upper lip, the inner and outer corners of the eyes are gradually involved in the pathological process.

Squamous cell carcinoma

Most often occurs around the red border of the lower lip, around the rectum and on the external genitalia. Affected people complain most often of swelling or sores on the skin surface, which rapidly increase in size. With greater skin involvement and activation of an inflammatory process, painful sensations appear.


It is considered the most dangerous type of skin cancer, because it often metastasizes, that is, cancer cells are separated from the malignant formation and penetrate into healthy organs and tissues.

Metastases are often the cause of death for patients. In appearance, melanoma is very similar to a common birthmark, but is distinguished from it by its jagged edges, uneven color and unusually large size.

What does the research consist of?

American scientists recently made a surprising discovery. From which it was established that when our skin is exposed to ultraviolet radiation of type B, a specific form of RNA – microRNA – is damaged in its cells. RNA, like DNA, is a nucleic acid that is necessary for the synthesis of proteins in cells.

As a result of microRNA damage, inflammation develops, which allows the destruction of potentially dangerous cells.

The obtained data allow to create new methods for the treatment of some skin diseases.

Currently, for the treatment of psoriasis, patients are most often subjected to ultraviolet radiation therapy, the impact of which increases the risk of skin cancer. But now, instead of ultraviolet radiation, a certain type of RNA can be used to treat this disease.

In addition, blocking microRNA signaling can suppress inflammation in people suffering from autoimmune diseases. Even short-term exposure to ultraviolet rays causes a burning sensation in these people.

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