Scottish Melanoma Group (SMG) data on 2790 melanoma (MM) cases in South East Scotland over a 24-year time period were analysed in four periods each of 6 years duration grouped into frequently exposed, intermittently exposed, and always covered sites. Incidence increased significantly over time with females having a higher incidence rate than males. In both sexes, the proportion of cases seen on the posterior trunk and arm increased significantly (P<0.001), but declines were seen in the proportion of leg tumours in males (P=0.09) and of head tumours in females (P=0.011). Although the proportion of cases decreased for certain sites, the actual MM incidence increased at all sites. A significant increase in incidence occurred at usually and always covered sites (P<0.001 and P<0.001, respectively) in females and at usually covered sites in males (P<0.001).