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Skin Cancer

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. Follow these easy options—

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

Next: Basic Information

Featured Resources

Cover image of the Skin Cancer Prevention Progress Report The Skin Cancer Prevention Progress Report summarizes recent prevention efforts and highlights new data, developments, and success stories.

Protect Your Students from Skin Cancer fact sheet

As an educator, you can protect students from skin cancer. Keep students sun safe, and teach them to avoid indoor tanning.

Protect All the Skin You’re In infographic This infographic explains how to use a layered approach to protect all the skin you’re in.

A photo of Sharon McKenna enjoying a sunny day“I learned the hard way: a tan is not a sign of health,” writes melanoma survivor Sharon McKenna.

Photo of a woman sitting on the beach under an umbrella In this session of Grand Rounds, experts discuss how we can help people protect their skin and their lives while enjoying the outdoors.

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