At-Risk Groups

At Risk for Skin Cancer

Men—Especially over age 50

  • Most information and ads about sunscreen target women and publications women read
  • Men may spent a lot of time outdoors during work and play
  • Single middle- aged men are most at risk because few people may see their skin to notice changes
  • Men’s skin cancers are often caught at a later stage when they are harder to treat successfully

Solid Organ Transplant Recipients

  • Solid organ transplant recipients are 65 times more likely to develop a skin cancer than the general public
  • The drugs that keep transplant recipients from rejecting their new organ leave them immunosuppressed and more vulnerable to skin cancer
  • Ask your pharmacist to help you choose a sunscreen to meet your needs 
  • Consider purchasing sun protective specialty clothing which can be found on the internet.  Keep your receipts for income tax purposes under health receipts


  • Babies under age one should be kept out of direct sunlight
  • Cover up as much of baby’s tender skin as possible
  • Choose shirts with longer sleeves close to the elbow and shorts or skirts that reach to the knee
  • Cover baby’s head with a wide brimmed hat and protect baby’s eyes with infant sunglasses
  • Too much sun can cause sunburn, dehydration and become a medical emergency for young children 

School Aged Children

  • Children aged 6-12 are becoming more independent from mom and dad, spending more time in organized activities without parents present
  • Children need help packing hats, sunscreen and sunglasses into their backpacks so they are prepared to be sun safe away from home
  • Try to get the first application of sunscreen on children before they leave in the morning and then remind them to reapply every 2-3 hours or whenever they get hungry 

Youth & Young Adults

  • Many summer jobs take youth outdoors often for not just a single summer but many
  • Youth often know the risks of too much sun but admit to using few protective behaviours
  • Parents may provide the sunscreen, lip balm and hats but youth may choose not to use them
  • Accutane, a drug used to treat severe acne, can cause severe sunburns in a short time!  Anyone taking this medication needs to practice many sun protective behaviours any time they are outside.  Before working outside or taking part in an activity, consider the UV Index for the day

Medication and the Sun

  • Many medications, both prescription and over-the-counter drugs, can cause your skin to burn faster than is typical for you
  • Medications that cause photosensitivity include antibiotics, anti-seizure medications, immunosuppressant drugs, anti-depressants, anti-psychotics, and many more.  Ask your pharmacist whenever you get a new prescription or make a purchase of a medication you have not taken before

Persons Who Sunburn Easily

  • People with pale coloured eyes—green, grey, blue
  • People with pale skin who easily burn, rarely tan and tend to freckle
  • People with red, auburn or blond hair
  • These people, skin type 1, should never consider using artificial tanning

Cover up with a hat, clothing & sunglasses

Apply sunscreen of SPF30+

Seek shade