Anyone can develop skin cancer, but if you’re in the following groups then you’re at higher risk then the rest of us:

  • Skin type – those with a family history of the following: (whether you sunbake or not)
    • a light complexion
    • red or fair hair
    • blue or green eyes
    • skin that burns easily
    • skin that freckles and doesn’t tan
  • Sunburns including, but not always, blistering - especially in childhood and adolescence
  • Other close family members who have had melanoma
  • Having a large number of moles (naevi)

Fitzpatrick Skin Type Classification

In 1975 Dr. Thomas Fitzpatrick, a dermatologist at Harvard Medical School, developed a scale to classify a person’s complexion based on tolerance to sunlight.

Have a look at some of your skin that has never seen the sunlight and match it to one of the pictures and descriptions below. The lower your skin type, the higher the risk of melanoma. 

 Fitzpatrick Skin Type Classification

  • Type I burns easily and never tans

  • Type II burns easily and tans minimally

  • Type III burns moderately and tans gradually

  • Type IV burns minimally and tans easily

  • Type V rarely burns and tans easily

  • Type VI deeply pigmented skin that never burns 


Risk Calculator

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