What Areas of the Body Are Most Prone to Skin Cancer?

Mother hugging her son What Areas of the Body Are Most Prone to Skin Cancer?

Skin cancer prevention is key to maintaining your skin’s health. With about one in five Americans developing skin cancer by age 70, it’s critical that all adults protect their skin and schedule skin cancer screenings. But where is skin cancer most likely to develop? Skin cancer most often shows up in areas that receive the most sun exposure, so be sure to pay close attention to these parts of the body.

Body Parts Most Vulnerable to Skin Cancer

Face

Feeling the sun on your face is certainly refreshing, but it’s important to enjoy sunshine safely. Remember that your face is exposed to the sun on a daily basis, so it’s common for skin cancer to develop on the nose, lips, and other areas. Be sure to apply a facial sunscreen daily (SPF 30+ is best). You should also wear a hat when possible to protect your face and neck.

Neck

Unless you’re sporting a turtleneck daily, your neck likely receives just as much sun exposure as your face. However, you might not think about it as much. It can also be more difficult to check areas like the back of your neck for signs of skin cancer. Remember to apply sunscreen to your neck whenever applying it to your face.

Ears

It’s easy to forget your ears when you’re slathering sunscreen on your face. However, this area of skin is also exposed to the sun on a near daily basis. Using sunscreen on your ears, wearing a wide-brimmed hat, and even covering your ears with your hair can help protect this skin from UV rays.

Scalp

As you’re checking your skin for signs of skin cancer, you might not think to look under your hair. However, the scalp is another common zone for skin cancer. Even if you have hair, the top of your head still receives sun exposure when you’re spending time outside. And unfortunately, skin cancer lesions can be tricky to spot in this area. Your dermatologist will always check your scalp for changes during your annual skin cancer screenings.

Chest

The chest is often one of the first areas to become sunburned when you’re lounging on the beach. And it’s also common to find skin cancer in this area. If you have spots and moles on your chest and back, be sure to watch for any changes. Remember to reapply your sunscreen to these areas after swimming or sweating, and wear a shirt during outdoor activities.

Legs

Do you skip your legs when applying sunscreen? It’s common to overlook this area, especially when you’re in a hurry. However, the skin on your legs receives plenty of sunlight and is particularly susceptible to skin cancer. Take the time to apply sunscreen to your whole body, especially before hitting the beach or pool.

Hands

Unless you wear gloves all the time, your hands are likely receiving sun exposure every day. Over time, this puts you more at risk for developing skin cancer on your hands and fingers. Always apply sunscreen to your hands, as well as your arms. It’s also possible for skin cancer to develop on the nail beds, so keep an eye out for any abnormalities.


The skin cancer signs and symptoms are difficult to spot at home. The providers at Pacific Dermatology Specialists encourage their patients to schedule annual skin cancer screenings, while also providing state-of-the-art skin cancer treatments. With offices in Long Beach, CA and other communities in the Greater Los Angeles Area, we offer cosmetic, medical, and surgical dermatology services to support your skin’s health. Contact us today to schedule your screening.

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