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A man and woman wearing hats and sunglasses on a beach.

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. Most cases of melanoma, the deadliest kind of skin cancer, are caused by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light.

To lower your skin cancer risk, protect your skin from the sun and avoid indoor tanning. CDC recommends these easy options—

  • Stay in the shade, especially during midday hours.
  • Wear clothing that covers your arms and legs.
  • Wear a hat with a wide brim.
  • Wear sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays.
  • Use sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher and both UVA and UVB protection.
  • Avoid indoor tanning.

Cover image of The Surgeon General's Call to Action to Prevent Skin CancerThe Surgeon General's Call to Action to Prevent Skin Cancer
Despite efforts to address risk factors, skin cancer rates have continued to increase. The Call to Action outlines actions everyone can take to reverse this alarming trend.

Photo of Dr. David EspeyMedscape Expert Commentary
In this video, CDC’s Dr. David Espey explains how medical professionals can help prevent skin cancer.

Cover image of The Call to Action consumer bookletCall to Action Consumer Booklet [PDF-821KB]
This booklet lists the goals of The Surgeon General's Call to Action to Prevent Skin Cancer, describes how ultraviolet (UV) radiation causes skin cancer, and explains how everyone can help prevent this disease.

CDC's Skin Cancer Research
The association between demographic and behavioral characteristics and sunburn

Indoor tanning among high school students in the United States

More Skin Cancer Research

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