The incidence of nonmelanoma skin cancers (NMSCs) has been rapidly increasing in epidemic proportions all over the world. The purpose was to evaluate the demographic and clinico-pathological patterns of skin cancers in Izmir, a region with high ultraviolet light exposure. The study was retrospective and hospital-based. The data related to all NMSC patients registered from January 1, 1990, to December 31, 1999, in the Dermatology Department of Ege University Medical School in Izmir, were collected and analyzed according to the personal statistics, anatomic location, dimensions of the lesion and clinical and histopathological type of skin cancer. A total number of 2,879 patients, aged between 20 and 96 years, were included in the study; among them 1,633 were men and 1,246 were women. The mean age of the patient population was 62.81 years, with a standard deviation of 12.50 years. Among the tumour patients, there were 2,062 basal cell carcinomas (BCCs), 746 squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs) and 71 both BCC and SCC; the total number of lesions was 3,186 (2,339 BCCs, 847 SCCs). Of all the NMSC lesions studied, the highest percentage (46.6%) were located on the face. For the BCCs, the most frequent histopathological subtype was the solid pattern (50.74%). The mean male: female ratios for SCC and BCC lesions were 2.86 and 1.01, respectively. Nodular and ulcerative forms (69.8%) were the most commonly found clinical types. Of all NMSCs, 78.4% had diameters in the 11 to 20 mm. BCC is the most common type of skin cancer diagnosed in our region. Among the NMSC patients, farming was the most widespread and risky job. The majority of SCC tumors were observed mostly in men 60 years old or above. This is the first comprehensive description of NMSCs in our region.