The pigmentation characteristics of your skin play a huge role in determining your risk of skin cancer. The fairer your skin is, the higher the risk.24 So it's important that you know what your skin type is and understand the risks.
Nevi (Benign moles or freckles)
Nevi are benign melanocytic tumours, also known as moles. They are strongly associated with risk for Melanoma.25 The greater the number of nevi on a person's skin, the greater the risk of melanoma. An individual who has more than 100 common nevi or more than two atypical nevi has a five- to twenty-fold increased risk of melanoma.26
Skin Type Example Sun History
|I. Pale white skin||Red-headed, freckles, Irish/Scots/Welsh||Always burns easily, never tans, extremely sun sensitive skin|
|II. White||Fair-skinned, fair-haired, blue or green-eyed, Caucasians||Always burns easily, tans minimally, very sun sensitive skin|
|III. White (Medium Complexion)||Medium white skin||Sometimes burns, tans gradually to light brown, sun sensitive skin|
|IV. Beige or lightly tanned||Mediterranean-type Caucasians, some Hispanics, some East Asians||Burns minimally, always tans to moderate brown, minimally sun sensitive|
|V. Moderate brown||Some Middle Eastern, some Hispanics, some African-Canadians, some Aboriginals, some East Asians||Rarely burns, tans well, sun insensitive skin or tanned |
|VI. Dark brown or black skin||African- Canadians, some Aboriginals, some Middle Eastern||Never burns, deeply pigmented, sun insensitive|
24 Hill, D., Elwood, J. M., & English, D. R. (2004). Who gets skin cancer: Individual risk factors. Prevention of skin cancer (p. 3). Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
25 Armstrong, B. K., & Kricker, A. (2001). The epidemiology of UV induced skin cancer. J Photochem Photobiol B, 63(1-3), 8-18.
26 Bataille, V., & de Vries, E. (2008). Melanoma—Part 1: Epidemiology, risk factors, and prevention. British Medical Journal, 337, 2249.