Melanoma Rates Are Highest in Utah

Beaches, hot deserts, states closer to the equator. These are all factors you most likely associate when categorizing certain states as 'skin cancer hot spots'. You probably wouldn't include a snowy state in this particular category. Would you? 

According to a new report from the Center of Disease Control and Prevention, Utah (yes, Utah) has the highest incidences of skin cancer, specifically melanoma. 

The report, released this year, found Utah has the highest number of melanoma. The most recent date shows there were 42.3 cases per every 100,000 people in 2014. According to a news outlet, that's twice the national average


Researchers aren't too sure why Utah has the highest rates of melanoma. It could be because of elevation. It is easy to get a sunburn at higher altitudes because there is less of the earth's atmosphere to block the sunlight. According to WebMD, "UV exposure increases about 4% for every 1000 ft (305 m) gain in elevation." 

Even if you don't live in Utah, it's important to wear SPF daily -- and reapply every two hours. And, if you're hitting the ski slopes this season, don't forget to apply sunscreen on your face, body and lips.