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Can people with dark skin get skin cancer?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

Yes. Even though people with dark complexions have a higher concentration of melanin in their skin, they are still at risk for developing skin cancer when exposed to the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays.

 

It's possible for people of any skin type and color to develop skin cancer. However, it's much more common among people with fair skin than people with dark skin. This is because darker skin contains more pigment to protect from ultraviolet (UV) rays. When people with darker skin develop skin cancer, it's more common in areas that aren't exposed to the sun, such as underneath nails or between toes. Regardless of their degree of risk, people of all skin types should still protect their skin from the sun.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.