While there are a few different types of SCC, more commonly known as skin cancer, the majority of types result from exposure to ultraviolet rays from tanning beds or sunlight. Other causes of skin cancer include certain forms of the human papillomavirus (HPV), serious burns, and long-term exposure to chemicals that cause cancer. Since UV rays are typically the most common cause, SCC is most often seen among individuals with fair hair and skin. Individuals with gray, green, or blue eyes are also at a higher risk, as are individuals who find tanning a challenge.
Most people who develop SCC have spent a significant amount of time outside without protecting their skin with clothing or sunscreen. They also may regularly use sunlamps or tanning beds. Men develop skin cancer at a higher rate than women partly because, on average, they spend more time outside. Although SCC appears most often after the age of 50, recent years have seen an increase in cases among individuals in their 20s and 30s. In recent years, more cases of SCC have also been reported among people of color.