Are You at Risk for Melanoma?

There are several factors that may increase your risk of melanoma

Fair skin

Having less pigment (melanin) in your skin means you have less protection from damaging UV radiation. If you have blond or red hair, light-colored eyes, and freckle or sunburn easily, you’re more likely to develop melanoma than is someone with a darker complexion. But melanoma can also develop in people with darker skin types.

A history of sunburn

One or more severe, blistering sunburns can increase your risk of melanoma.

Excessive ultraviolet (UV) light exposure

Exposure to UV radiation, which comes from the sun and from tanning lights and beds, can increase the risk of skin cancer, including melanoma.

Living closer to the equator or at a higher elevation

People living closer to the earth’s equator, where the sun’s rays are more direct, experience higher amounts of UV radiation than do those living in higher latitudes. In addition, if you live at a high elevation, you’re exposed to more UV radiation.

Having many moles or unusual moles

Having more than 50 ordinary moles on your body indicates an increased risk of melanoma. Also, having an unusual type of mole increases the risk of melanoma. Known medically as dysplastic nevi, these tend to be larger than normal moles and have irregular borders and a mixture of colors.

A family history of melanoma

If a close relative — such as a parent, child or sibling — has had melanoma, you have a greater chance of developing a melanoma, too.

Weakened immune system

People with weakened immune systems, such as those who’ve undergone organ transplants, have an increased risk of skin cancer.

Source = Mayo Clinic