The incidence rates of cutaneous melanoma are continually rising in the Caucasian population with the highest rates in Australia and New Zealand. The genesis of melanoma is a complex interplay between genetic predisposition and exogenous factors. The major known exogenous risk factor of this potentially lethal malignancy is ultraviolet (UV) radiation. In the last decades diverse prevention strategies have been developed which in case of primary prevention are aimed to protect the skin from high-dose UV radiation. Although its effect is only visible after a long period of time and despite the growing awareness in the general population, it seems that primary prevention interventions are often not carried out as recommended. It was proposed that particularly in Europe where incidence rates are still increasing, the development and implementation of primary prevention campaigns should be pursued further. Secondary prevention implies early detection of melanoma by using skin cancer screenings. However, according to recent reviews there is only limited evidence on impact and benefit of routine skin cancer screenings in the adult general population. Thus, it was suggested that future research should focus on effects of targeted screening in population subgroups with increased risk for melanoma.