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Six Risk Factors That Increase Your Chance of Developing a Melanoma

Have you ever had a sunburn so extreme that it blistered? Take caution. You could be at least three times more likely to develop a melonoma. A recent study, conducted by the melanoma screening service MoleMap by Dermatologists, identified six risk factors that could pose possible warning signs. Here they are:

  • Natural red or blond hair.
  • Freckling located on the upper back area.
  • A history of melanoma within your family.
  • Teenage sunburns that resulted in blisters.
  • Summer jobs outdoors that lasted for three or more years during your teenage years.
  • Tendency to get scaly patches of skin on areas of the skin that have received sun exposure.

If one of these statements is true for you, then you are three times more likely to develop a melanoma. However, you are 10 times more at risk if two or more of these circumstances apply to you. If you're concerned, heed the advice of MoleMap director Dr. Martin Haskett. "It is important to note that although most of the questions in the survey related to sun exposure, once the risk factors are present a malanoma can appear at any time of year and in non sun-exposed body sites," he says. "This means people need to check their skin year-round and medical surveillance programs for those at highest risk."


Join The Conversation
StarObsolete StarObsolete 8 years
Yeah, I did a project on Melanoma, and the facts are quite startling. Hopefully everyone can see the risks that the sun can have on you, and really take it seriously!
glam-sugar glam-sugar 8 years
I was sunburned really severely a few times when I was younger and I also went tanning. I'm very fair and developed melanoma a few years ago. So I'm extremely cautious about sun protection and I don't tan anymore either.
Deanern Deanern 8 years
MoleMap has a US extension called MoleSafe. They have an office in New Jersey and in New Mexico, opening one in North Carolina, and do mobile clinics in San Francisco 2 times a year.
Xandara Xandara 8 years
The best way to stay safe against skin cancer is to see a dermatologist who specializes in cancers of the skin. They should have the experience to look at a mole and be able to tell if it looks "good" or otherwise. Regular check-ups you do yourself or with your partner are still great to catch anything obviously weird, but a trained eye can help catch anything else. It never hurts to CHECK. :)
redchick152 redchick152 8 years
ugh...i'm a red head and have freckles. not so much on my upper back though.
kscincotta kscincotta 8 years
D'oh! I'm screwed!
weffie weffie 8 years
I have all 6 of those... With me it's more a matter of when, not if.
emalove emalove 8 years
I don't have any of these risk factors (except for a few freckles on my back, but not many), and I still got skin cancer on the back of my calf three years ago. I'm almost positive it was from using a tanning bed.
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