Skin Blog 13 - February 2019: The Many Faces of Melanoma

Posted By Dr. Eugene Tan  
11:00 AM

Skin Blog 13 - February 2019 : The many faces of melanoma


JAAD January 2019 Volume 80, Issue 1, Pages 178–188.e3


What do we know?

Dermatologists have known that there are many clinical presentations for melanoma – that is, melanoma has many different faces. What we do not know, is if this difference is classifiable.


What does this study add?

In this recent study, the investigators showed 6 dermatologists 400 images of biopsy proven melanoma. They were asked to diagnose them based on a list of diagnoses. From the diagnoses, they were able to classify the melanoma according to 5 broad groups.

They are:

  1. Typical melanoma
  2. Nevus-like (mole like melanoma)
  3. Amelanotic melanoma (melanoma without pigment)
  4. Seborrhoeic keratosis like melanoma (wart like melanoma)
  5. Lentigo melanoma (freckle-like melanoma)


Characteristics associated with these groups are:


Why is this important?

This is important because by appreciating the diversity of melanoma and their clinical factors, it can help dermatologists and doctors improve their diagnostic accuracy.


Patients are often taught to identify melanoma based on the ABCDE criteria. The study demonstrates that melanoma does have a varied clinical presentation. It is very important that if you detect a change in your skin, that you notify your Doctor or your Dermatologist.