Most melanomas occur in patients with fair skin and hair. Common places are the back and the legs.
Although UV radiation from sun exposure and genetic predisposition are two key risk factors for developing a melanoma, occurrences of this type of skin cancer may also appear in areas that are not subjected to much sun exposure, such as the soles of the feel and palms of the hands.
Melanomas may even develop in the eyes, mouth, digestive tract, urinary tract, vagina or underneath the nails. When melanomas occur in these areas, they are often referred to as “hidden melanomas.” Hidden melanomas are most common in patients with dark or ethnic skin tones.