How do you think about your birthmark

Sun protection

Skin cancer comes in different forms. The most dangerous form is melanoma, also known as black skin cancer, because it can metastasize.

Black skin cancer can also occur in younger people: Almost a quarter of people with melanoma are under the age of 50 at the time of diagnosis.

Melanoma - black skin cancer

Melanoma can develop in the pigment cells of the skin. The pigment cells form the birthmarks that almost everyone has somewhere on their body. When melanomas form, they not only destroy the skin, but can also reach the bloodstream and, as metastases, damage other organs.

About a fifth of all melanomas arise from existing birthmarks. The majority of melanomas are new. Melanoma can appear anywhere on the skin, including the genital area or under toenails and fingernails. There are also melanomas that do not produce melanin and are therefore difficult to detect.

The survival rate 5 years after diagnosis is 93%. 330 people die of skin cancer in Switzerland every year.

The white skin cancer

The light skin cancers, such as basalioma and spinalioma, are more common, but less dangerous. These are usually removed surgically and usually do not require any further therapy.

Nevertheless, it is important to detect this skin cancer early, as it destroys tissue and, at an advanced stage, can grow into the muscles or nerves and can also affect neighboring lymph nodes and form offshoots (metastases).

How high is your risk of developing melanoma?

The following factors increase the risk of developing melanoma.

If more of the above applies to you, your risk of developing melanoma is increased.

You can significantly reduce the risk ...

  • if you protect yourself against the sun's rays,
  • do without the solarium
  • and regularly check your body for suspicious moles.

Suspicious and harmless birthmarks

If a birthmark is clearly different in shape and color from the others or changes, for example it starts to bleed or itches, you should definitely see a doctor.

The earlier a skin cancer is discovered and treated, the greater the chances of recovery. So don't wait too long with a medical evaluation if a mole looks suspicious.

Suspicious birthmarks ...


Instead, harmless birthmarks usually have ...

Do you have doubts?

  • Are you insecure? Only medical education brings clarity and solutions.
  • The very feeling that a birthmark is changing is reason enough to show it to a doctor.

"Self-made" skin examination

People at an increased risk of developing melanoma should check themselves regularly for skin changes, namely as follows:


In addition, you should discuss with a doctor whether regular skin checks by medical staff are recommended.