M is for Melanoma

September 27, 2022

A melanoma is a potentially dangerous skin lesion that can occur on the foot and tend to have a worse outcome if not detected early.

Malignant melanoma of the skin

Detecting melanoma, a type of skin cancer, typically involves recognizing certain signs and changes in your skin. It is crucial to regularly examine your skin and be aware of any suspicious moles or spots. Here are some key features to look for when evaluating whether you might have a melanoma:

  1. Asymmetry: Look for moles or spots that have an irregular shape or appear asymmetric when one half does not match the other.
  2. Border irregularity: Pay attention to moles with uneven, scalloped, or poorly defined borders. Melanomas often have irregular or blurred edges.
  3. Color variation: Notice moles or spots with uneven coloring or multiple shades of brown, black, red, blue, or white. Melanomas can display a mix of different colors within the same lesion.
  4. Diameter: Take note of moles or spots that have a larger diameter than the size of a pencil eraser (6 mm or 1/4 inch), although melanomas can sometimes be smaller.
  5. Evolving or changing lesions: Monitor moles or spots that have changed over time or are evolving in shape, size, color, or elevation. This can include new growth, itching, bleeding, or crusting.
  6. Itchiness or tenderness: Be aware of moles or spots that become itchy, painful, tender, or sensitive to touch.
  7. Elevation or raised surface: Observe moles or spots that have an elevated or raised surface compared to the surrounding skin.
  8. Ulceration or bleeding: Be cautious if a mole or spot becomes ulcerated (develops an open sore) or starts to bleed without an obvious cause.

It’s important to remember that these features are potential signs of melanoma, but they are not definitive indicators. If you notice any suspicious changes in your skin or have concerns, it is recommended to consult a dermatologist or healthcare professional for a proper evaluation and diagnosis. They may perform a skin examination, possibly using dermoscopy or recommend a biopsy if necessary.

Early detection of melanoma is crucial for successful treatment outcomes. Regular self-examinations of your skin and scheduling routine skin checks with a dermatologist can help identify any potential issues and ensure prompt medical attention if needed.


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