Trends in melanoma incidence have shown an increase in thinner, less lethal tumors in recent years. The overall increases in melanoma incidence have begun to slow in Western Europe and North America. Environmental risk factors are important in the development of melanomas in individuals with high-risk phenotypes, and these people should modify their recreational and overall UV exposure. Primary prevention of melanoma and early detection are essential to reduce melanoma mortality in future years. The complex relationships between genetic factors and patterns of sun exposure, especially in childhood, are the focus of continued research.