What Are the Risk Factors for Skin Cancer?
Anyone can get skin cancer, but people with certain characteristics are at greater risk—
- A lighter natural skin color.
- Skin that burns, freckles, reddens easily, or becomes painful in the sun.
- Blue or green eyes.
- Blond or red hair.
- Certain types and a large number of moles.
- A family history of skin cancer.
- A personal history of skin cancer.
- Older age.
Exposure to UV Rays
Regardless of whether you have any of the risk factors listed above, reducing your exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays can help keep your skin healthy and lower your chances of getting skin cancer in the future. Most people get at least some UV exposure from the sun when they spend time outdoors. Making sun protection an everyday habit will help you to enjoy the outdoors safely, avoid getting a sunburn, and lower your skin cancer risk.
- Sun Exposure – Sunburn (CDC)
- CDC Health Information for International Travel: Sun Exposure (CDC)
- Melanoma Risk Assessment Tool (National Cancer Institute)
- Anyone Can Get Skin Cancer (National Cancer Institute)