The main cause of melanoma is too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays.The best way to prevent melanoma is to reduce the amount of time you spend in the sun—especially at certain times of the day—and to make sure that you are well protected when you are in the sun. You can also do a skin self-exam every 6 to 8 weeks. This helps ensure that you find suspicious moles early and have them checked promptly by your doctor.
Childhood is an especially important time for sun protection.Protecting the skin during the first 18 years of life can reduce the risk of some types of skin cancer by up to 78%. Learn more about protecting children from the sun.