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Can people with dark skin get Merkel cell carcinoma?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

It's pretty rare for people with dark skin to develop Merkel cell carcinoma. This may be due in part to the fact that darker skin contains more pigment to protect from ultraviolet rays. In general, Merkel cell carcinoma mostly affects Caucasians with lighter skin. There have been very few cases of African-American people with Merkel cell carcinoma.

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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.