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How does skin cancer develop in areas of skin that aren't exposed to sun?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

While it is most common for skin cancer to develop in areas of skin that are exposed to the sun, it may develop in other areas. This is especially the case with melanoma, which is one type of skin cancer. Melanoma may form in hidden areas, such as under fingernails or toenails and on the bottom of the feet. It is also possible to develop melanoma in your eye. Though it is less common, other types of skin cancer can also develop in areas that are not usually exposed to the sun. Check those hidden areas when doing self-exams of your skin.

Skin cancer can develop in areas of skin that aren't exposed to the sun. If you have a mole, freckle or other skin lesion that is new, changing, large, asymmetric, has irregular borders, is variably colored, is bleeding, irritating or is otherwise bothering you it is wise to have it checked out sooner rather than later, even if it is located in an area not exposed to 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.