BACKGROUND: Cutaneous melanoma is a highly aggressive malignancy with increasing incidence worldwide. The southern Brazilian state of Santa Catarina has one of the highest incidence rates of melanoma in the country. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the epidemiological profile of melanoma patients in a southern city of Brazil. METHODS: a cross-sectional retrospective study was conducted, aiming to detect the clinical and histopathological characteristics of cutaneous melanoma diagnosed in the city of Brusque - SC, between 1999 and 2013. RESULTS: A total of 213 cases in 212 individuals were studied. More than 50% of the patients were females (p< 0.05). The trunk was the most commonly affected site (p< 0.05), followed by the upper limbs. Nodular and superficial spreading melanomas were the most commonly detected in histological analyses. They did not differ statistically in frequency, but were more prevalent than other histopathological subtypes (p< 0.05). There was no statistically significant difference between invasive and noninvasive melanomas (p= 0.2441). Among the invasive melanomas, those with Breslow thicknesses < 1 mm and between 1-2mm were more prevalent (p< 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: In this study we found a higher frequency of melanomas in female patients and patients aged over 51. The trunk was the most commonly affected site. Nodular and superficial spreading melanomas prevailed. Among invasive melanomas, those with Breslow thicknesses < 2 mm were the most frequent. This paper highlights the epidemiological profile of melanoma patients in the city and may help to identify and aid in the follow-up of those who are most likely to present the disease.