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Harley Street Dermatology

Skin Conditions

 

The 5 Types of Melanoma

Although we usually think of skin cancer as something that affects moles, melanoma skin cancer can actually affect many different parts of our skin and appear in many different forms.
 
 

1. Superficial Spreading Melanoma:

This is the most common form of melanoma skin cancer. As the name suggests, it is a superficial tumour that grows across the surface of the skin rather than moving deeper into the tissue, at least at first. Superficial spreading melanomas appear as pigmented patches on your skin that grow outwards. They often start at a mole and have uneven edges.
 

2. Lentigo Maligna Melanoma:

Lentigo maligna melanomas tend to develop slowly and they are usually seen in older people who have spent a lot of time outdoors. The melanoma usually looks a bit like a freckle, but they tend to be more distinct and they are often larger and darker than your other freckles. Although they start out flat, these melanomas can develop into lumps or move down into the deeper tissue if they are left untreated.

 

3. Acral Lentiginous Melanoma:

The rarest type of melanoma, these tumours tend to appear on the palms or the bottoms of the feet, often next to a nail. They can look like dark patches or greyish lumps on your skin and they are the most common type of melanoma in people with darker skin.

 

4. Nodular Melanoma:

The fastest growing form, the nodular melanoma appears as a rapidly changing lump on your skin. They are usually red, brown or black in colour and they can start to bleed or leak fluid. Nodular melanomas aren’t usually associated with moles and they often appear on the head or neck. This form of skin cancer often grows downwards as well as outwards, so it’s important to have it removed quickly.

 

5. Amelanotic Melanoma:

Melanomas are usually dark in colour, but amelanotic ones are usually quite light. They appear as pinkish blotches that may have a darker grey or brown border. Amelanotic melanomas are relatively rare and easy to miss because they don’t match the usual idea of what skin cancer looks like.

 

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Private Consultant Dermatologist Did you know?

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Most moles are not a cause for concern and present a purely cosmetic problem. However, moles can occasionally undergo changes that lead to them becoming cancerous.
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