Risk Factors

A risk factor is anything that increases your likelihood of developing a disease like cancer. When it comes to skin cancer, there are several risk factors that can contribute to the development of this disease. Fortunately, many of these risks can be addressed by you.

The following factors increase your skin cancer risk:


Indoor tanning


Skin Type

Unprotected Exposure to UVA & UVB Rays


Atypical Moles

Organ Transplant

Red Hair

The following can help decrease your skin cancer risk:


Daily use of a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF 15+

Use of sun protective clothing, UV-blocking sunglasses and wide-brimmed hats

Seeking the shade whenever possible

Protective window film in your car and home

Annual skin exams with your physician

Monthly self-exams

A healthy diet

Reviewed by:
Heidi Jacobe, MD
Anna Chien, MD

Last reviewed: June 2019

Sun & Skin News