Overview

Who Gets Skin Cancer?

Who Gets Skin Cancer?

Everyone is at risk for skin cancer, no matter your skin color or type. Know the warning signs for skin cancer and protect your skin from the sun at every age.

Skin cancer can be either non-melanoma or melanoma:

  • Non-melanoma skin cancers are the most common and often very treatable. They include basal cell and squamous cell.
  • Melanoma skin cancer is more rare than non-melanoma skin cancer. It is also more serious and can be deadly.

Both melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers can be easily found on the skin through skin cancer screening. The earlier skin cancer is detected, the better the outcome.

Skin Cancer Risk Factors

Skin cancer is more common among people with a light or fair skin tone, but anyone can get skin cancer. Even teenagers and children can develop skin cancer, though it is rare in children.

Skin cancer can happen anywhere on the body, even in places that have not been exposed to UV rays, such as between the toes.

These things raise your risk for (chances of getting) skin cancer:

  • Tanning bed use
  • Living at a high elevation
  • Blistering sunburn (especially as a child)
  • Fair skin and blue, green, gray, or light-colored eyes
  • Blonde or reddish hair
  • More than 50 moles
  • A personal or family history of any type of skin cancer
  • Working or playing outdoors

Avoid Tanning Beds

Indoor tanning from sun lamps or tanning beds exposes skin to strong UV rays. This raises your chances of getting skin cancer. There is no such thing as a healthy tan. Tanning and burning are a sign of UV damage on the skin.

Learn to love whatever skin color you were born with instead of trying to get tan.