About all

Age spots or melanoma: Age Spots or Skin Cancer? How to Tell Them Apart

Age Spots or Skin Cancer? How to Tell Them Apart

You look at the back of your hand, or your neck, or even your leg and there it is—a spot you’ve never seen before. Could it be skin cancer? Or is it a harmless age spot?

Mary Frausto, a nurse practitioner specializing in medical oncology at Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center at Banner Gateway Medical Center in Gilbert, AZ, said, “It is often difficult to know if a new spot on the skin is an age spot or skin cancer. As a rule of thumb, when in doubt, get it checked out.”

That said, there are a few signs you can look for that point to one or the other.

  • Pain, bleeding, or discharge. Age spots aren’t painful and don’t bleed or ooze. You’ll want to have these areas examined for skin cancer.
  • Changing. Spots that become asymmetric, have borders that shift, get darker or lighter, or change in diameter should be checked for skin cancer.
  • Speed of changes. Age spots tend to shift from pink to yellow to tan to brown over several years. Spots that are changing more rapidly should be evaluated.
  • Itching. Both skin cancer and new age spots can be itchy. Itchiness from age spots should go away on its own.
  • Family history. Both age spots and skin cancer can have a genetic component. So, if you have a family history of either, be sure to mention it when you discuss your concerns with a health professional.

Don’t expect the location of the spot to give you any clues about whether it’s an age spot or skin cancer. Both age spots and skin cancer can appear anywhere on the body.

And your age isn’t all that helpful either. If you’re 30 or older, you could develop age spots. (People with a certain genetic component can develop them at age 2 or older.) The link between age and skin cancer is tricky: Basal and squamous cell skin cancers are more common in older people, while melanomas occur in people of all ages.

What happens if you suspect skin cancer?

If you’re worried about a spot on your skin, you should consult a dermatologist. A dermatologist can take a close look at your skin with a special tool called a dermatoscope to see if the spot is likely to be skin cancer. If so, your dermatologist can recommend a treatment plan. Skin cancer is one of the most treatable types of cancer, and some types can be treated with lasers or creams.

The bottom line

Age spots and skin cancer can have a lot of similarities, so it can be tough to tell on your own if a spot is something you should be concerned about. If you’re worried, it’s a good idea to have your doctor or a dermatologist take a look.

A Banner Health dermatologist can help evaluate your skin and recommend any needed treatments. To find a dermatologist near you, visit bannerhealth.com.

To learn more about skin conditions and how to protect yourself, check out:

Join the Conversation

Sun spot or skin cancer? Know the difference

Sun spots, liver spots, moles, freckles, cysts — oh my. Our skin can develop many different bumps or markings over the course of our lives. Some are harmless, but others may be cause for concern.


“Being able to tell the difference between a sun spot and a potentially cancerous mole could save your life,” explains Kaiser Permanente’s Dr. Paola Rodriguez, a board-certified dermatologist. “Performing periodic self-checks, asking your doctor about regular screenings, and practicing daily UV protection are all ways to reduce your risk of skin cancer.”


But how can you tell if the marks on your skin are potentially cancerous and what can you do to help prevent skin cancer? Here’s what to keep in mind:


Factor in your risk


Some people are more likely to get skin cancer than others. If you have any of the following, you may want to take extra precautions, perform self-checks often, and schedule regular screenings:


  • Family history of skin cancer
  • Fair skin
  • Naturally light-colored hair — red or blond
  • A history of serious sunburns or prolonged sun exposure
  • A large number of moles all over your body

Check yourself


Whether your risk factor is high or low, scheduling a full-body skin screening with your doctor is always a good idea. Based on your risk, ask your doctor how often you should schedule these screenings.


Everyone, however, should perform regular self-checks. Each month, check your skin from head to toe to see if you notice any abnormal marks or moles. When performing these checks, here’s what to look out for:


Seeing spots?


If you’re over 50, you may notice spots appearing on the areas of your skin that are often exposed to the sun — like your face, hands, neck, etc. These spots are called “actinic lentigines,” which are more commonly referred to as sun spots, age spots, or liver spots. These small, gray-brown spots aren’t a type of skin cancer. They also don’t progress to become skin cancer and don’t require any treatment. But if you notice any rapid changes to one of these spots, get it checked out by your doctor right away.


Remember the ABCDE rule


When performing a self-check, you’ll want to remember the ABCDE rule. This rule lists red-flag issues that could be cause for concern.


  • Asymmetry: When one half of the mole or mark looks very different in shape to the other half.
  • Borders: Edges that are blurry, irregular, and uneven on the outside of the mole or mark.
  • Color: A variety of colors or shading in one mole or mark. Non-cancerous moles or marks are usually all one color.
  • Diameter: Anything larger than 6 millimeters in diameter — about the size of a pencil eraser.
  • Evolving: A mole or mark that changes in shape, size, color, or texture over time.

If you notice a mole or mark displaying any of the above red flag issues, then schedule an appointment with your doctor right away.


Practice prevention


Regularly using a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher is one of your best ways to prevent sun burns, premature aging, and skin cancer. You’ll want to apply sunscreen 15 to 30 minutes before sun exposure and reapply every 2 hours. Be sure to use sunscreen on any area that might be getting some sun — your neck, lips, ears, and even your scalp (you can also wear a hat for added sun protection).


When in doubt, get it checked out


If you’re still not sure if the mole or skin spot you have is common or cancerous, schedule an appointment with your doctor. Early detection can help prevent the spread of cancer so don’t be afraid to reach out with any questions or concerns. When it comes to skin cancer, it’s always a good idea to play it safe.

TOPICSdermatologymoleskin cancersun spot

3 Signs And Symptoms To Know: Northstar Dermatology: Dermatology

Are You Seeing Spots?

Read Time: 3 minutes

While often common in people over 50, even younger adults can develop sunspots. Also called age spots, liver spots, or solar lentigines, these dark spots come from exposure to the sun. People with lighter skin, women, and those with a family history of liver spots tend to be more affected. Of course, more exposure to sun or tanning beds also plays a significant part.

Why do sunspots develop?

UV light from the sun causes the skin to produce more melanin, which is the color source or pigmentation of the skin. The more skin is exposed to UV light, the darker skin gets, which is how a suntan occurs. However, over time and with continued exposure, small areas can become excessively colored or hyperpigmented, and a spot is born.

Spotting trouble

Routine self-examination of skin is vital in detecting melanoma early. Spotting changes are hard to do if the skin is not examined routinely. Dermatologists generally recommend doing a monthly skin check looking for 3 specific things.

Sign 1: Changes

Any freckle, mole, or sunspot that changes in color, shape, or size is suspicious. A tan spot that becomes mixed with red, black, or pink areas needs to be checked out. A small freckle that becomes much larger or develops an irregular border should be seen by a physician.

Sign 2: Pain

If a previously non-tender, non-itchy spot becomes itchy, painful, or tender, that is a warning sign. There are other reasons this change can occur, but a change shouldn’t be taken lightly. Get a medical opinion.

Sign 3: Different

If a spot stands out from any other place on the skin, the spot needs to be checked. This is often referred to as the ugly duckling symptom. In other words, this spot just looks different from anything else and catches the eye.

Melanoma is another story

Melanoma is one of the deadliest forms of skin cancer. A family history of melanoma or a personal history of several sunburns or tanning bed usage increases the risk of melanoma. Having more than 40 moles also means routine monitoring by a dermatologist is warranted.

How to spot melanoma

Melanoma is often detected through routine skin checks using the ABCDE rule. A is asymmetry, or one part of the spot doesn’t look the same as another part. B is border, which is typically irregular. C is color that most often is not the same throughout. D is a diameter of greater than º inch but could be smaller. E is evolving, meaning the spot changes over time.

Catch a problem early

Melanoma doesn’t have to be deadly. Early detection and prompt medical treatment are crucial. Often free screenings are also available, so check out local health fairs or ask a medical professional. Most importantly, reduce risk by applying sunscreen and avoiding the sun between 10 am and 2 pm when rays are the strongest. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. For more information about skin cancer prevention, speak with a dermatologist.

Spot the difference! | DermNet NZ

Author: Vanessa Ngan, Staff Writer; Copy Editor: Clare Morrison; Chief Editor: Dr Amanda Oakley, Dermatologist, Hamilton, New Zealand, October 2013. About Melanoma is sponsored by the New Zealand Dermatological Society Incorporated.


Skin cancer

App to facilitate skin self-examination and early detectionRead more.

Text: Miiskin

The first sign of a melanoma is usually an unusual or funny-looking mole or freckle. Look out for:

  • Change in the colour, shape or size of a spot
  • A spot that is itchy, painful or tender
  • One that stands out from other spots – an “ugly duckling”

If you find an “ugly duckling” on your skin, see your doctor right away.

Moles and freckles

Most moles, spots, freckles and bumps on the skin are harmless, but this is not always the case:

  • About 75% of melanoma are new spots that appear in normal skin – a new ugly duckling.
  • Other melanomas start within an existing mole or freckle – watch out for change.

Normal moles

Most people have several normal moles on their skin and a few people have lots of them. These ‘normal moles&rshquo; are also called melanocytic naevi because they are made up of melanocyte cells. Normal moles may be flat or raised and vary in colour from pink to brown or black. The colour depends on how much pigment or melanin is made by the melanocytes. They are mostly round or oval shaped but can sometimes be odd shaped. They can be tiny spots or up to several centimetres in size.

Normal moles are harmless but in some cases a melanoma may start from within them. People with lots of moles, especially those with over 100 moles, are at greater risk of getting melanoma than those with few moles. If you start to notice any changes in a mole, it’s best to get it checked out by a doctor.

Funny-looking moles

Funny-looking moles are also called atypical naevi or dysplastic naevi. These moles are basically normal moles with some unusual features such as large size or an odd shape with blurred edges or a flat and bumpy surface. Funny-looking moles may look like melanoma but are actually harmless (benign) spots that don’t need to be removed. However, if you have a few, particularly five or more of these funny-looking moles, your chance of getting a melanoma is increased. If you are unsure about any of your funny-looking moles it’s best to get them checked out.

Brown spots and freckles

Freckles are small flat brown marks that most often appear on the face and other exposed parts of the body in the summer months. They are most often seen in fair-skinned people with red hair but can be seen in people with darker skin colour too. Freckles are formed when the skin is exposed to the sun. Freckles are harmless, but if one starts to look funny compared to others then it’s best to get it checked out.

Larger, flat, brown spots on the face and hands that start to appear in middle-aged people, known as age spots or liver spots, are properly called solar lentigines. These occur in people of all skin types if they have spent too much time exposed to the sun. Solar lentigines are harmless too but because they can sometimes turn into melanoma it is good to get them checked out, especially if they start to change colour or shape.

Seborrhoeic keratoses

Seborrhoeic keratoses grow in number as we get older. Most people over 40 have at least one of these warty spots, and some people have hundreds. They are stuck on to the skin rather like barnacles and can be clustered around the neck or under the breasts, or scattered all over the body. They can be any colour including white, yellow, brown and black. Seborrhoeic keratoses can be irritating, but are actually harmless. If in doubt – check it out!

Other types of skin cancer

When looking for the ‘ugly duckling’ spot, you may discover a actinic keratosis or another type of skin cancer such as basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma. Look out for:

  • A growing spot that is rough, dry or scaly
  • A spot that has become a thickened and raised bump
  • A spot or sore that bleeds easily or is crusted over
  • A sore that doesn’t heal

See your doctor to confirm the diagnosis and find out treatment options.


How to Spot Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is by far the most common type of cancer. If you know what to look for, you can spot warning signs of skin cancer early. Finding it early, when it’s small and has not spread, makes skin cancer much easier to treat.

Some doctors and other health care professionals include skin exams as part of routine health check-ups. Many doctors also recommend that you check your own skin about once a month. Look at your skin in a well-lit room in front of a full-length mirror. Use a hand-held mirror to look at areas that are hard to see.

Use the “ABCDE rule” to look for some of the common signs of melanoma, one of the deadliest forms of skin cancer:

Basal and squamous cell skin cancers are more common than melanomas, but they are usually very treatable.

Both basal cell carcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas, or cancers, usually grow on parts of the body that get the most sun, such as the face, head, and neck. But they can show up anywhere. 

Basal cell carcinomas: what to look for:

  • Flat, firm, pale or yellow areas, similar to a scar
  • Raised reddish patches that might be itchy
  • Small translucent, shiny, pearly bumps that are pink or red and which might have blue, brown, or black areas
  • Pink growths with raised edges and a lower area in their center, which might have abnormal blood vessels spreading out like the spokes of a wheel
  • Open sores (that may have oozing or crusted areas) and which don’t heal, or heal and then come back

Squamous cell carcinomas: what to look for:

  • Rough or scaly red patches, which might crust or bleed
  • Raised growths or lumps, sometimes with a lower area in the center
  • Open sores (that may have oozing or crusted areas) and which don’t heal, or heal and then come back
  • Wart-like growths

Not all skin cancers look like these descriptions, though. Point out anything you’re concerned about to your doctor, including:

  • Any new spots
  • Any spot that doesn’t look like others on your body
  • Any sore that doesn’t heal
  • Redness or new swelling beyond the border of a mole
  • Color that spreads from the border of a spot into surrounding skin
  • Itching, pain, or tenderness in an area that doesn’t go away or goes away then comes back
  • Changes in the surface of a mole: oozing, scaliness, bleeding, or the appearance of a lump or bump

Age spots (liver spots) // Middlesex Health


Age spots are small, flat dark areas on the skin. They vary in size and usually appear on areas exposed to the sun, such as the face, hands, shoulders and arms. Age spots are also called sunspots, liver spots and solar lentigines.

Age spots are very common in adults older than 50, but younger people can get them if they spend time in the sun.

Age spots can look like cancerous growths. True age spots don’t need treatment, but they are a sign the skin has received a lot of sun exposure and are an attempt by your skin to protect itself from more sun damage. For cosmetic reasons, they can be lightened or removed.

You can help prevent age spots by regularly using sunscreen and avoiding the sun.

If you have light skin and spend a lot of time in the sun, you’re more likely to develop age spots — areas of increased pigmentation.


Age spots may affect people of all skin types, but they’re more common in adults with light skin. Unlike freckles, which are common in children and fade with no sun exposure, age spots don’t fade.

Age spots:

  • Are flat, oval areas of increased pigmentation
  • Are usually tan to dark brown
  • Occur on skin that has had the most sun exposure over the years, such as the backs of hands, tops of feet, face, shoulders and upper back
  • Range from freckle size to about 1/2 inch (13 millimeters) across
  • Can group together, making them more noticeable

When to see a doctor

Age spots don’t require medical care. Have your doctor look at spots that are black or have changed in appearance. These changes can be signs of melanoma, a serious form of skin cancer.

It’s best to have any new skin changes evaluated by a doctor, especially if a spot:

  • Is black
  • Is increasing in size
  • Has an irregular border
  • Has an unusual combination of colors
  • Is bleeding

Age spots may grow in size and group together, giving the skin a speckled or mottled appearance. They’re very common in areas that get repeated sun exposure, such as on the back of the hand.


Age spots are caused by overactive pigment cells. Ultraviolet (UV) light speeds up the production of melanin, a natural pigment that gives skin its color. On skin that has had years of sun exposure, age spots appear when melanin becomes clumped or is produced in high concentrations.

Use of commercial tanning lamps and beds also can cause age spots.

Risk factors

You might be more likely to develop age spots if you:

  • Have light skin
  • Have a history of frequent or intense sun exposure or sunburn


To help avoid age spots and new spots after treatment, follow these tips for limiting your sun exposure:

  • Avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Because the sun’s rays are most intense during this time, try to schedule outdoor activities for other times of the day.
  • Use sunscreen. Fifteen to 30 minutes before going outdoors, apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30. Apply sunscreen generously, and reapply every two hours — or more often if you’re swimming or perspiring.
  • Cover up. For protection from the sun, wear tightly woven clothing that covers your arms and legs and a broad-brimmed hat, which provides more protection than does a baseball cap or golf visor.

    Consider wearing clothing designed to provide sun protection. Look for clothes labeled with an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) of 40 to 50 to get the best protection.


Diagnosing age spots might include:

  • Visual inspection. Your doctor can usually diagnose age spots by looking at your skin. It’s important to distinguish age spots from other skin disorders because the treatments differ and using the wrong procedure may delay other needed therapy.
  • Skin biopsy. Your doctor might do other tests, such as removing a small sample of skin for examination in a lab (skin biopsy). This can help distinguish an age spot from other conditions, such as lentigo maligna, a type of skin cancer. A skin biopsy is usually done in a doctor’s office, using a local anesthetic.


If you want your age spots to be less noticeable, treatments are available to lighten or remove them. Because the pigment is located at the base of the epidermis — the topmost layer of skin — any treatments meant to lighten the age spots must penetrate this layer of skin.

Age spot treatments include:

  • Medications. Applying prescription bleaching creams (hydroquinone) alone or with retinoids (tretinoin) and a mild steroid might gradually fade the spots over several months. The treatments might cause temporary itching, redness, burning or dryness.
  • Laser and intense pulsed light. Some laser and intense pulsed light therapies destroy melanin-producing cells (melanocytes) without damaging the skin’s surface. These approaches typically require two to three sessions. Wounding (ablative) lasers remove the top layer of skin (epidermis).
  • Freezing (cryotherapy). This procedure treats the spot by using a cotton-tipped swab to apply liquid nitrogen for five seconds or less. This destroys the extra pigment. As the area heals, the skin appears lighter. Spray freezing may be used on a small grouping of spots. The treatment may temporarily irritate the skin and poses a slight risk of permanent scarring or discoloration.
  • Dermabrasion. Dermabrasion sands down the surface layer of skin with a rapidly rotating brush. New skin grows in its place. You may need to undergo the procedure more than once. Possible side effects include temporary redness, scabbing and swelling. It may take several months for pinkness to fade.
  • Microdermabrasion. Microdermabrasion is a less aggressive approach than dermabrasion. It leaves mild skin blemishes with a smoother appearance. You’ll need a series of procedures over months to get modest, temporary results. You may notice a slight redness or stinging sensation on the treated areas. If you have rosacea or tiny red veins on your face, this technique could make the condition worse.
  • Chemical peel. This method involves applying a chemical solution to the skin to remove the top layers. New, smoother skin forms to take its place. Possible side effects include scarring, infection, and lightening or darkening of skin color. Redness lasts up to several weeks. You might need several treatments before you notice any results.

The age spot therapies that remove skin are usually done in a doctor’s office and don’t require hospitalization. The length of each procedure and the time it takes to see results varies from weeks to months.

After treatment, when outdoors you’ll need to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 and wear protective clothing.

Because age spot treatments are considered cosmetic, they typically aren’t covered by insurance. And because the procedures can have side effects, discuss your options carefully with a doctor who specializes in skin conditions (dermatologist). Also, make sure your dermatologist is specially trained and experienced in the technique you’re considering.

Lifestyle and home remedies

Many nonprescription fade creams and lotions for lightening age spots are available for sale. These may improve the appearance of age spots, depending on how dark the spots are and how often you apply the cream. You might need to use such a product regularly for several weeks or months before you notice results.

If you want to try an over-the-counter fade cream, choose one that contains hydroquinone, glycolic acid or kojic acid. Some products, especially those that contain hydroquinone, may cause skin irritation.

You could also apply makeup to help make age spots less noticeable.

Preparing for an appointment

You’re likely to start by seeing your primary care doctor, who may then refer you to a dermatologist.

Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, such as:

  • When did you first notice the spots on your skin?
  • Did the spots appear gradually or quickly?
  • Have you noticed any other changes in the appearance of your skin?
  • Is the condition itchy, tender or otherwise bothersome?
  • Have you experienced frequent or severe sunburns?
  • How often are you exposed to the sun or UV radiation?
  • Do you regularly protect your skin from UV radiation?
  • What kind of sun protection do you use?
  • Do you have a family history of age spots or skin cancer?
  • What medications do you take?

Questions you may want to ask your doctor include:

  • What suspicious changes in my skin should I look for?
  • If the spots are age spots, what can I do to improve the appearance of my skin?
  • Do treatments make them go away completely, or do they just lighten the age spots?
  • Could these spots turn into skin cancer?

©1998-2021 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). All rights reserved. Terms of Use

Causes, Prevention, and How to Get Rid of Them

  • Sunspots are permanent, dark flat spots that appear on areas of skin frequently exposed to the sun.
  • Sunspots are harmless but may be mistaken for a more serious symptom like skin cancer. 
  • Check the asymmetry, color, diameter, and how the spot changes over time to ensure it’s not cancer.
  • Visit Insider’s Health Reference library for more advice.

LoadingSomething is loading.

Sunspots are flat, dark spots that appear on parts of your skin that you frequently expose to the sun, such as your face, hands, arms, shoulders, and feet.

While anyone can develop these spots, they are particularly common in people with light skin over the age of 40, especially those who spend a lot of time in the sun.

Genetics also play a role, so having a family history of sunspots can make you more likely to get them.

Note: Sunspots are also known as age spots, solar lentigines, and liver spots although they don’t have anything to do with liver function. 

Sunspots are permanent marks that are harmless, so you don’t need to remove them for health reasons. However, if you don’t like their appearance, there are steps you can take to lighten them. 

Here are some tips on how to prevent sunspots and reduce their appearance, as well as how to differentiate a sunspot from something more serious like skin cancer.

There are topical treatments and dermatological procedures that can lighten sunspots’ appearance; however, it’s always best to consult a dermatologist to determine which approach is best for you, says Kathleen Suozzi, MD, a dermatologist at Yale Medicine. 

To understand how the following treatments work, it’s important to mention how sunspots form in the first place. They appear darker than the surrounding skin because what you’re actually seeing is a concentrated patch of a natural skin pigment called melanin, which gives your skin its color.

Darker people typically have more melanin. You can ramp up melanin production by spending time in the sun or a tanning bed.

With that in mind, here are six common treatments for reducing the appearance of sunspots:

  • Topical creams: Suozzi recommends prescription or over-the-counter topical creams containing vitamin C, tretinoin (aka retinoic acid), hydroquinone, a bleaching agent, azelaic acid, kojic acid, licorice extract, and tranexamic acid. These ingredients can gradually lighten existing spots and reduce the production of melanin. Suozzi says you can expect to see results in one to three months. 
  • Laser treatments: “Laser treatments are very helpful for minimizing the appearance of sunspots,” says Suozzi. These treatments are performed by dermatologists. They work by targeting and destroying cells under the surface of your skin that produce melanin. You can expect to see results after two or three sessions.
  • Cryotherapy: Cryotherapy is a procedure where your dermatologist will apply liquid nitrogen to the pigmented areas for a few seconds. The nitrogen freezes the area and destroys the excess melanin, causing the skin to look lighter once it heals. 
  • Dermabrasion: This procedure involves using a mechanical brush to sand off the age spots, allowing new skin to grow in their place. Your dermatologist may need to do the procedure a few times before you see results.
  • Microdermabrasion: Microdermabrasion is less aggressive than dermabrasion. You may need to do it repeatedly over several months to reduce the appearance of sunspots. It can be more effective if combined with a chemical peel.
  • Chemical peels: This procedure involves applying a chemical solution to your skin to remove the top layer, aka epidermis, allowing new skin to grow in its place. Suozzi says you can also do glycolic acid peels at home to lighten sunspots; however, they are not as powerful as a chemical peel performed by a dermatologist. Both light and medium peels will likely take a few sessions before you see results. But light peels can be done every one to four weeks whereas you should only get a medium peel every 6-12 months.

You may also find other “remedies” by casually browsing the internet, but keep in mind that there’s no scientific evidence to back the effectiveness of applying any of the following to your skin for sunspots: 

  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Buttermilk
  • Green tea
  • Papaya

Sunspots can sometimes resemble cancerous growths. The ABCDE rule can help you differentiate between the two and identify potential signs of melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer: 

  • Asymmetry: If one side of the spot looks very different from the other, it could indicate melanoma.
  • Borders: If the borders of the spot are uneven, irregular, or blurry, it could be a cause for concern.
  • Color: Sunspots are usually all one color. If your spot has multiple colors or shades, it could be a cancerous growth. Melanoma patches can include shades of black and brown, or have red, pink, blue, or white patches.
  • Diameter: If the spot is over six millimeters in diameter — roughly the size of the pencil eraser — you may need to get it checked out, although cancerous spots can sometimes be smaller than this.
  • Evolving: Suozzi recommends seeing your dermatologist if the spot appears to be growing larger or changing color, as that could also be a sign of skin cancer. 

To rule out the possibility of cancer, your dermatologist will probably perform a skin biopsy, where they collect a small sample of the skin for lab analysis of any cancerous cells.


The 7 best sunscreens of 2021 for every skin tone and type

Since sunspots are more common with age, you may not be able to prevent them entirely.

However, you can reduce your risk of developing a lot of sunspots by minimizing your exposure to UV rays.

Here are some helpful tips:

  • Wear sunscreen: Suozzi recommends opting for a mineral-based sunscreen that contains zinc or titanium and is SPF 30 or above. Instead of getting absorbed, the active minerals stay on the surface of your skin and act like a physical shield that deflects the sun’s rays.
  • Avoid the midday sun: Try to avoid being outdoors between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when the UV rays of the sun are most intense. 
  • Cover up: If you are going to be out in the sun, wear sun-protective clothing like lightweight long-sleeve shirts, full-length pants, closed shoes, wide-brimmed hats, and sunglasses. 
  • Avoid tanning: Tanning ramps up melanin production, thereby increasing the probability of sunspots.

It’s also important to note the risk factors that may make you more prone to developing sunspots: 

  • Spending a lot of time in the sun or getting a bad sunburn
  • Being over the age of 40
  • Having lighter skin
  • Using a tanning bed regularly
  • Undergoing a medical procedure, such as radiation therapy
  • Having a family history of sunspots 
  • Being a person with a vagina

Sunspots are small, dark spots that you may see on your skin, particularly if you spend a lot of time in the sun. They are harmless and don’t require treatment. However, you can take steps to reduce or eliminate them, if you prefer.

You can prevent sunspots by avoiding tanning and shielding your skin from the sun. “Sun protection is the best prevention,” says Suozzi.

90,000 Caution! Melanoma! – BUZ VO Velikoustyug CRH

Melanoma is one of the types of skin malignant neoplasms that develops from pigment melanocyte cells that produce melanins, and is characterized by an aggressive, often unpredictable and variable clinical course.

Its most frequent localization is the skin, much less often – the mucous membrane of the eyes, nasal cavity, mouth, larynx, the skin of the external auditory canal, anus, female external genital organs.This tumor is one of the most severe forms of cancer, disproportionately affecting young people (15-40 years old), and occupies 6th place among all malignant tumors in men and 2nd place in women (after cervical cancer) …

About 40 years ago, skin melanoma was a relatively rare disease. However, in recent decades, its frequency has increased significantly, and the annual growth rate is up to 5%. Why is melanoma dangerous?

How to distinguish a mole from melanoma?

Benign birthmark is characterized by:

  1. Symmetrical shape.
  2. Smooth, even outlines.
  3. Uniform pigmentation giving the formation a color ranging from yellow to brown and sometimes even black.
  4. A flat surface that is flush with the surface of the surrounding skin or rises slightly evenly above it.
  5. No increase in size or slight growth for a long time.

What does melanoma look like?

It can appear as a flat pigmented or non-pigmented spot with a slight elevation, round, polygonal, oval or irregular in shape with a diameter of more than 6 mm.It can maintain a smooth, shiny surface for a long time, on which small ulcerations, irregularities, bleeding with minor trauma subsequently appear. Pigmentation is often uneven, but more intense in the central part, sometimes with a characteristic black rim around the base. The color of the entire neoplasm can be brown, black with a bluish tinge, purple, variegated in the form of separate unevenly distributed spots.

In some cases, it takes the form of overgrown papillomas, resembling “cauliflower”, or the shape of a mushroom on a broad base or on a leg.Near melanoma, additional, separate or merging with the main tumor foci (“satellites”) sometimes appear. Occasionally, the tumor manifests itself as limited redness, turning into a permanent ulcer, the bottom of which is filled with growths. When developing against the background of a birthmark, a malignant tumor can develop on its periphery, forming an asymmetric formation.

Knowledge of reliable and significant symptoms of the transition of benign formations into an active state is of great importance.How to recognize a malignant neoplasm and the moment the birthmark transforms into it? Early signs are as follows:

  1. An increase in planar dimensions to that of an unchanged or very slowly increasing mole, or a rapid growth of a newly formed nevus.
  2. Changing the shape or shape of an already existing formation. The appearance of seals or asymmetry of the contours in any part of it.
  3. Discoloration or loss of uniformity in color of an existing or acquired birthmark.
  4. Change in intensity (increase or decrease) of pigmentation.
  5. The appearance of unusual sensations – itching, tingling, burning, “bursting”.
  6. Redness around the corolla-shaped birthmark.
  7. Disappearance of hair from the surface of the formation, if any, the disappearance of the skin pattern.
  8. The appearance of cracks, peeling and bleeding with minor injuries (light rubbing with clothing) or even without them, as well as growths like a papilloma.

The presence of one of these symptoms, and even more so their combination, is a reason for a patient to visit a doctor, for further referral to a specialized medical and prophylactic institution of oncological orientation for examination and treatment

Treatment of skin melanoma

The main method is a surgical knife, laser or radio wave excision of the tumor. In the presence of metastatic foci, a combination of the surgical method with chemotherapy and immunotherapy is used.

Prevention of melanoma

The main method for preventing the development of malignant tumors on the skin is the timely removal of those moles, age spots, nevi that were injured. As well as those parts of the body that, due to their location, are at great risk of injury and, therefore, the further possibility of developing melanoma. Of no small importance is the limitation of exposure to the sun for those people who belong to risk groups (fair-skinned, redheads, with a large number of moles, as well as those who have had cases of melanoma in their family).For these people, it is very important to protect their skin from direct exposure to sunlight, as this may be for them exactly the factor that will provoke the development of a tumor.

10 methods of prevention of melanoma

  • Avoid UV radiation. One of the best methods to reduce the risk of development.
  • Wear hats. Baseball caps, caps and straw hats protect human skin much worse than a wide-brimmed hat made of dense material, because it protects the skin on the forehead, ears, nose and part of the neck.
  • Wear sunglasses. Sunglasses with a high degree of sun protection protect the eyes and the skin around them, that is, the eyelids.
  • Wear clothing that covers large areas of the skin. Naturally, the best option would be to wear long sleeved shirts and trousers. The darker the color of the clothes, the more it protects. Thanks to innovative technologies, they have now created such a material that protects very well from the sun’s rays.
  • Apply protective cosmetics to the skin.Sunscreens and lip balms are recommended even by highly qualified healthcare professionals.
  • Stay in the shade. During the highest solar activity, it is best to stay in the shade. Remember that the sun’s rays pass through light clouds.
  • Do not go to solariums. It is not for nothing that dermatologists all over the world categorically do not recommend staying under the lamps of tanning salons.
  • Get vitamin D from food. This essential vitamin is best consumed with food and nutritional supplements, as well as multivitamins.
  • Remove moles and observe nevi. People with a large number of moles on the body should visit the dermatological office with enviable regularity, and if necessary, remove the formations.
  • Pass genetic testing. A hereditary predisposition can lead to the development of melanoma. Therefore, get tested and identify your predisposition.

What you need to know about melanoma!

Melanoma is a malignant tumor (cancer) that originates from the epithelial cells of the skin.Melanoma is the most aggressive of all known malignant tumors, quickly forms metastases, after which it is considered practically incurable.

At the same time, it is easier to prevent the development of melanoma than other types of cancer. To do this, you just need to carefully monitor moles and age spots on the skin and know by what signs you can determine melanoma.

What is melanoma? Melanoma is a particularly aggressive type of skin cancer. Melanoma usually starts from skin cells that synthesize pigment that stains sunburned skin, birthmarks, or freckles.These cells are called melanocytes, which is where the name of cancer melanoma comes from.

The incidence of melanoma among men and women is approximately the same, melanoma often affects young people (15-40 years).

Is melanoma dangerous? Melanoma is the most aggressive form of cancer known today. This tumor quickly metastases (even at very small sizes), which within a few months can affect the main vital organs (brain, lungs, bones).Once metastases are detected, melanoma is considered practically incurable.

How does melanoma form? The source of the development of melanoma are pigment cells that synthesize the biological pigment melanin, which stains the skin and pigment spots on the skin. There are a lot of such cells (melanocytes) in birthmarks, freckles, nevi. Very often, at a doctor’s appointment, it turns out that the patient does not know what a healthy mole should look like, and how it differs from an atypical nevus or a malignant tumor of melanoma

Freckles are small pigment spots, usually round or oval in shape, not protruding above the surface of the skin.Most often, freckles cover the skin of the face, but they can appear on almost the entire surface of the skin. Freckles turn pale in winter and turn back in spring and summer.

Moles (birthmarks, nevi) are medium-sized pigmented lesions (up to 1 cm in diameter), usually dark and evenly colored, however, there are flesh-colored moles that are weakly colored. The surface of a mole can only rise slightly above the surface of the skin. The edges of the moles are even.

Atypical nevi are large pigmented formations of the skin with uneven edges and uneven coloration.Some atypical nevi can be considered precancerous lesions.

Malignant melanoma is a pigmented skin formation arising from moles or on “clean skin” with uneven edges, a bumpy surface, uneven color of varying intensity. The edges of melanoma are often surrounded by an inflammatory rim (a bright red stripe).

What are the characteristics of melanoma?

  1. Rapid growth of a new mole or the beginning of a rapid growth of an old mole that has remained unchanged until now.
  2. Change in the contour line of an old mole (uneven, broken edges) or the appearance of a new mole with fuzzy edges.
  3. Uneven coloration (various shades of brown, black blotches, colorless areas) of a new fast-growing mole, or the appearance of these signs in an old mole.

Additional signs of melanoma diagnosis are:

  • • Increase in the size of the mole more than 7 mm;
  • • The appearance of a zone of inflammation at the edges of the pigmented formation of the skin;
  • • Bleeding and itching of pigmented skin lesions.

Who is at risk for melanoma?

At the moment, it is considered a proven link between various types of skin cancer and solar radiation. This principle also applies to melanoma. Solar radiation is the main reason for the development of this type of tumor.

Therefore, people with a large number of freckles on the body, the presence of benign skin tumors, the presence of atypical nevi, light skin that is sensitive to the sun, working in open sunlight are at increased risk.

How to protect yourself from melanoma?

Because of the extreme risk of melanoma, people at high risk of developing the disease (eg people spending a lot of time outdoors) are advised to follow some measures to prevent melanoma and other types of skin cancer. To protect yourself from skin cancer:

  • • Try to limit your time in the sun as much as possible, especially at lunchtime.
  • • If sun exposure is unavoidable, protect exposed skin from direct sunlight: wear a long-sleeved T-shirt, wide-brimmed hat, pants.
  • • Always use sunscreen when in direct sunlight. The protection factor of the cream must be at least 15.
  • • Review all major and minor signs of melanoma and discuss them with your doctor if possible. Make sure you know exactly what melanoma might look like and how to distinguish it from a regular mole.
  • • Examine the entire skin surface regularly. Your back and scalp should be examined by a friend or relative.
  • • Seek medical attention if you find any suspicious skin element.

Doctor – surgeon, health care institution “29 city polyclinic”

Borisevich E.F.

Not Found (# 404)

Service selected:

Choosing a specialist service

Click to select a service

Select date and address


A repeated consultation is considered to be a consultation of one specialist within 30 days from the date of the previous appointment.On the 31st day from the previous visit to a specialist of this profile, the consultation will be primary.

90,000 how to understand which ones are harmless and which ones threaten with one of the types of cancer. News. Channel One

With the onset of summer, many are seized by an irresistible passion for sunbathing.People take every fine day to expose their skin to the sun. Dermatologists and oncologists have a real panic from this mass hobby. After all, our body is strewn with moles. And each of them, under the influence of hot rays, can be reborn into one of the most destructive types of cancer.

To cauterize a problem mole with iodine or celandine is like signing yourself a verdict. Another couple of months and doctors could not save Valentina Lepalovskaya from Yekaterinburg. It’s all to blame for a malignant tumor – melanoma, which arose at the site of a small age spot.

Valentina Lepalovskaya: “I decided that old age was not a joy and I didn’t pay attention. Until I started to bleed it when I touched it”.

Russians are not used to paying attention to their birthmarks. Pigmented spots are often viewed only from the “beautiful – ugly” position. In Penza, for example, in polyclinics they even decided to arrange a “melanoma day” so that everyone could be tested and undergo a kind of educational program. Out of 100 people who showed their moles to doctors, 8 were immediately sent to cancer centers.

Sergey Oleinik: “I contacted here to make sure that everything is good and there are no threats.”

Checking with a dermatoscope showed that a mole on Sergei Oleinikov’s face poses no threat. But since every day Sergei touches her with glasses, the doctors recommend removing this benign tumor. Like any birthmark that is constantly injured – with a belt from trousers, a shirt collar, the edge of a boot, or just a comb. But to remove for fear of a cancerous tumor is also wrong, doctors say.After all, not every mole is capable of being reborn. Pigmented spots are round, even if they are convex, especially with the growth of hair inside, as a rule, they do not pose a danger. The alarm should be beaten if such a formation or a scientific nevus is found on the body.

Larisa Chervonnaya, dermato-oncologist: “Firstly, it is larger in size, and secondly, its borders are scalloped, and it is about 1 cm in diameter. And simple nevi are small and not always so intensely colored.”

It is from such nevi that melanoma occurs in 45% of cases.Her insidiousness is that, developing from 10 to 50 years, at one point she gives metastases throughout the body – in the blood, lymph nodes, eyes, lungs, heart. To notice the problem in time, you need to regularly, 2-3 times a year, independently examine your body.

Isabella Marchenko, head of the polyclinic of the dermatovenerologic dispensary of the Kostroma region: “The skin of the face, behind the auricles, the skin of the chest, in women – under the mammary glands, the abdomen, necessarily the brushes, necessarily the nails, is examined, because there is subungual melanoma.”

Two months ago, examining the skin, Galina Konopatskaya from Minsk discovered a growing mole on her side. The doctors diagnosed the first stage of melanoma. Operation performed on time – and no threat to life.

Galina Konopatskaya: “Naturally, it became scary, but why do I need any consequences? I went to the doctor.”

If people all over the world did the same, then such mortality from melanoma – 37 thousand people a year – could be avoided. After all, surgical removal of the tumor at an early stage gives an almost one hundred percent cure.Not to mention the fact that the disease can be simply prevented. If you treat your birthmarks with due attention and respect.

Guest in the studio – ELENA VERGUN, dermatologist

Host: We will continue our conversation on the exciting topic of moles and age spots with an experienced dermatologist Elena Vergun. Elena Eduardovna, good afternoon.

Guest: Good afternoon.

Presenter: Each person has several moles. How to understand which of them can pose a threat and which are completely harmless?

Guest: Any mole is potentially dangerous.But there are certain signs that indicate that the mole is malignant. The first is an uneven shape, asymmetrical, blurred boundaries, indistinct and irregular. Changes in the color of the mole, that is, it becomes leopard-like, light spots may appear on it, dark ones. Any changes with a mole: lightening, darkening indicate that the mole is potentially dangerous.

Presenter: Some moles are given to us from birth, others appear in the process of our life. What determines how many more moles will be added? What influences this?

Guest: First of all, of course, this is excessive ultraviolet radiation, insolation, which is often neglected by ordinary people, they sunbathe in tanning salons, on vacation, and so on.There should be clear prevention, protection from the sun, wearing hats and so on. Any injured areas: armpits, neck, where the collar is, in the waist area, where we always have a belt. Permanent injury to the mole can lead to malignancy.

Presenter: Is it possible to say that this or that person needs to be more attentive with their moles, that is, at certain periods of life, depending on hair color, skin color?

Guest: Yes, of course. First of all, these are fair-haired, red-haired, blue-eyed people.Then people who have a large number of moles on their bodies. And, of course, you need to watch the kids during their growth. If a child’s mole is actively growing, you should definitely contact a specialist.

Presenter: Is it possible to get rid of some moles on your own, there are such hanging ones, they are intercepted with a thread and strangled?

Guest: A person himself cannot diagnose whether this is a mole or a papilloma. In no case should any formations be removed on their own. Because recently, the number of skin diseases, including cancers, has especially increased.There are special doctors, dermatologists-oncologists, who advise in all specialized institutions.

Presenter: There are age spots, they are safer than moles, but this is such a cosmetic defect. What causes it?

Guest: Pigment spots are also different. There are congenital and acquired. In cosmetology practice, congenital age spots are very often found – these are freckles, from which for some reason everyone wants to get rid of. And there are acquired, so-called, which may be associated with some kind of diseases of the internal organs, with some kind of chemical and physical damage, with taking medications.

Presenter: If pigment spots have already appeared, then how are we going to fight them, how to eliminate them?

Guest: First, we need to identify the cause of age spots. If the cause is identified, then we choose the method of treatment.

Host: But this should not be done by cosmetologists, right? These are dermatologists and oncologists, right?

Guest: Cosmetologists, of course, are dealing with these problems, but only after a diagnosis has been made by a dermatologist.

Host: Thank you very much, Elena Eduardovna. Dermatologist Elena Vergun urged us to be more attentive to our own skin. This is what is important to keep in mind, especially in the summer. Thanks.

Any mole can bring trouble. Therefore, all these marks must be carefully observed throughout life.

If a speck has changed its size, shape, color – this is a reason to visit a dermatologist as soon as possible.

The most problematic moles are on open skin areas – the face and arms, as well as on the neck, waist and armpits.Some are difficult to hide from the cancer-provoking sun, while others are difficult to protect from constant mechanical stress.

In a special risk group, fair-haired, red-haired and blue-eyed. It is better for such people not to sunbathe at all, constantly use sunscreen and wear wide-brimmed hats.

Never remove any moles on your own. It is dangerous to trust this and cosmetologists. Only dermatologists can do everything competently.

Melanoma facts

About 40 years ago, skin melanoma was a relatively rare disease.However, in recent decades, its frequency has increased significantly, and the annual growth rate is up to 5%. Why is melanoma dangerous?

Causes of development and risk factors

Melanoma is a type of skin malignant neoplasm that develops from pigment cells – melanocytes that produce melanins, and is characterized by an aggressive, often unpredictable and variable clinical course.

Its most frequent localization is the skin, much less often – the mucous membrane of the eyes, nasal cavity, mouth, larynx, the skin of the external auditory canal, anus, female external genital organs.This tumor is one of the most severe forms of cancer, disproportionately affecting young people (15-40 years old), and occupies 6th place among all malignant tumors in men and 2nd place in women (after cervical cancer) …

It can develop on its own, but more often it is “masked” against the background of birthmarks, which does not cause concern for people and creates significant difficulties for doctors in terms of its early diagnosis. In how quickly this neoplasm develops and is difficult to detect at the initial stages, there is another danger that often interferes with timely diagnosis.Within 1 year, it spreads (metastasizes) to the lymph nodes, and soon through the lymphatic and blood vessels, practically, to all organs – bones, brain, liver, lungs.


The main modern theory of the origin and mechanism of development of melanoma is molecular genetic. In accordance with it, DNA damage occurs in normal cells by the type of gene mutations, changes in the number of genes, chromosomal rearrangements (aberrations), disruption of chromosomal integrity, and the DNA enzyme system.Such cells become capable of tumor growth, unlimited proliferation and rapid metastasis.

Such violations are caused or provoked by damaging risk factors of an exogenous or endogenous nature, as well as their combined effects.

Exogenous risk factors:

Chemical, physical or biological agents of the external environment with direct effects on the skin.

Physical risk factors:

  • Ultraviolet spectrum of solar radiation….
  • Increased background of ionizing radiation.
  • Electromagnetic radiation – the tumor is more common among persons professionally associated with the telecommunications equipment and the electronics industry.
  • Mechanical trauma to birthmarks, regardless of their frequency, is a high risk. It is not completely clear whether it is the cause or the triggering mechanism, but this factor is associated with 30-85% of cases of melanoma.

Chemical factors are of primary importance among those working in the petrochemical, coal or pharmaceutical industries, as well as in the production of rubber, plastics, vinyl and polyvinyl chloride, aromatic dyes.

Of the biological factors, dietary habits are of the greatest importance. High daily intake of animal proteins and fats, low intake of fresh fruits and vegetables high in vitamins “A” and “C”.

With regard to the systematic use of alcoholic beverages, it is theoretically assumed that they can provoke the growth of melanomas, but there is no practical evidence for this. The absence of a connection between the consumption of drinks containing caffeine (strong tea, coffee) and malignant neoplasms has been precisely proven.Therefore, nutrition for skin melanoma should be balanced mainly due to plant products, especially fruits and vegetables, and contain a rich amount of vitamins and antioxidants (blueberries, green tea, apricots, etc.).

Taking oral contraceptives, as well as estrogen drugs prescribed for the treatment of menstrual irregularities and autonomic disorders accompanying the menopause. Their influence on the development of melanoma is still only a guess, since no clear relationship can be traced.Endogenous risk factors are divided into two groups, one of which are factors that are a biological feature of the body:

  • low degree of pigmentation – white skin, blue and light eyes, red or light hair color, a large number of freckles, especially pink, or a tendency to their appearance;
  • hereditary (family) predisposition – it is mainly the disease of melanoma in the parents that matters; the risk increases if the mother was sick or there were more than two people with melanoma in the family;
  • anthropometric data – a higher risk of its development in people with a skin area of ​​more than 1.86 m2;
  • endocrine disorders – a high content of sex hormones, especially estrogens, and melanostimulating hormone (melatonin), produced in the middle and intermediate lobes of the pituitary gland; a decrease in their production after the age of 50 coincides with a decrease in the incidence of melanoma, although some authors, on the contrary, testify to an increase in its frequency at an older age;
  • states of immunodeficiency;
  • pregnancy and lactation, stimulating the transformation of pigmented nevi into melanoma; this is typical mainly for women with a late first pregnancy (after the age of 31), and pregnancy with a large fetus.

The second group is nevi, which are skin changes of a pathological nature and are characterized by the maximum degree of probability of degeneration into melanoma, as well as being its precursors. These are benign formations consisting of pigment cells (melanocytes) of varying degrees of maturity (differentiation), located in different numbers in different layers of the skin. A congenital nevus is called a birthmark, but in everyday life all formations of this type (congenital and acquired) are called birthmarks.The greatest risk is black or dark brown pigmented nevi with a size of 15 mm or more.

Melanoma symptoms

At the initial stages of the development of a malignant tumor on healthy skin, and even more so against the background of a nevus, there are few obvious visual differences between them. Benign birthmarks are typical:

  • Symmetrical shape.
  • Smooth, even outlines.
  • Uniform pigmentation giving the formation a color ranging from yellow to brown and sometimes even black.
  • A flat surface that is flush with the surface of the surrounding skin or rises slightly evenly above it.
  • No increase in size or slight growth for a long time.

What does melanoma look like?

It can appear as a flat pigmented or non-pigmented spot with a slight elevation, round, polygonal, oval or irregular in shape with a diameter of more than 6 mm.It can maintain a smooth, shiny surface for a long time, on which small ulcerations, irregularities, bleeding with minor trauma subsequently appear.

Pigmentation is often uneven, but more intense in the central part, sometimes with a characteristic black rim around the base. The color of the entire neoplasm can be brown, black with a bluish tinge, purple, variegated in the form of separate unevenly distributed spots.

In some cases, it takes the form of overgrown papillomas, resembling “cauliflower”, or the shape of a mushroom on a broad base or on a leg.Near melanoma, additional, separate or merging with the main tumor foci (“satellites”) sometimes appear. Occasionally, the tumor manifests itself as limited redness, turning into a permanent ulcer, the bottom of which is filled with growths. When developing against the background of a birthmark, a malignant tumor can develop on its periphery, forming an asymmetric formation

Knowledge of reliable and significant symptoms of the transition of benign formations into an active state is of great importance.How to recognize a malignant neoplasm and the moment the birthmark transforms into it? Early signs are as follows:

  • Increase in planar dimensions to an unchanged or very slowly increasing mole, or rapid growth of a newly formed nevus.
  • Changing the shape or shape of an already existing formation. The appearance of seals or asymmetry of the contours in any part of it.
  • Discoloration or loss of uniformity in color of an existing or acquired birthmark.
  • Change in intensity (increase or decrease) of pigmentation.
  • The appearance of unusual sensations – itching, tingling, burning, “bursting”.
  • Redness around the corolla-shaped birthmark.
  • Disappearance of hair from the surface of the formation, if any, the disappearance of the skin pattern.
  • The appearance of cracks, peeling and bleeding with minor injuries (light rubbing with clothing) or even without them, as well as growths like papilloma.

The presence of one of these symptoms, and even more so their combination, is a reason for a patient to contact a specialized medical and prophylactic institution of an oncological focus for differential diagnosis and a decision on how to treat melanoma, which depends on its type and stage of development.

Diagnosis of a malignant tumor is carried out mainly by means of:

  • Familiarization with the patient’s complaints, clarification of the nature of changes in the “suspicious” formation, its visual examination, examination of the entire patient in order to count the number of birthmarks, highlight those that are different and further study them.
  • Conducting general clinical studies of blood and urine.
  • Hardware dermatoscopy, which allows you to examine a neoplasm in the skin layers enlarged by several tens of times (from 10 to 40) and make a fairly accurate conclusion about its nature and boundaries according to the relevant diagnostic criteria.
  • Ultrasound examination of the abdominal cavity organs, computed and magnetic resonance imaging of the spinal cord and brain, chest x-ray, allowing to determine the spread and presence of metastases in other organs.
  • Cytological examination of smear (in the presence of ulceration) and / or material obtained by puncture of the lymph node (in rare cases). Sometimes the study of punctate from an enlarged lymph node allows you to diagnose the presence of a disease with the apparent absence of a primary tumor.

The main method is a surgical knife, laser or radio wave excision of the tumor. In the presence of metastatic foci, a combination of the surgical method with chemotherapy and immunotherapy is used.

How is a malignant neoplasm removed?

If tumor metastases are not detected, the affected area of ​​the skin on the body and extremities is excised at a distance of 3-5 cm from its visible edge along with subcutaneous adipose tissue, aponeurosis or muscle fascia. When localized on the skin of the face, hands and near the natural opening – at a distance of 2-3 cm, on the fingers (subungual form) – amputation or disarticulation is carried out, on the upper and middle parts of the auricle – the removal of the latter.

In the presence of ulceration of a tumor that grows into the dermis, as well as the presence of metastases in the nearest (“duty”) lymph node, the entire “package” of lymph nodes with subcutaneous tissue is removed simultaneously.

Treatment after surgery

Therapy is carried out mainly in the presence of metastases, or at least if such a possibility is suspected. For this purpose, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, or a combination of both are used. The most common drugs for treatment are intravenous or intramuscular administration of Cyclophosphamide, Imidazolecarboxamide, Cisplatin, Dacarbamazine, Carmustine.More often, these drugs are combined with Vinblastine and Metatrixat, as well as with immunotherapy – Interleukin-2 or Interferon-alpha. This combination helps prevent relapse.

Melanoma is characterized by low sensitivity to radioactive radiation. Therefore, radiation therapy is carried out only as a symptomatic or palliative effect, as well as in cases of refusal of the patient from a radical surgical operation. In addition, it is sometimes used as a preoperative preparation and after surgery.

After radical treatment, all patients are subject to constant medical examination in order to timely detect and treat recurrence of a cancerous neoplasm.

Dermatologist Nazarova N.G.


Every year in many countries of the world in May the action “Day of Fight Against Melanoma” is held.

In order to detect melanoma in the early stages, the “Month to combat melanoma” was announced in the Ulyanovsk region from May 12 to May 31, 2017.

In the Ulyanovsk region in 2016, 79 cases of melanoma were detected (in Russia – 9384 cases), incl.h. 30.2% during routine examinations. In total, 762 people are registered with the disease “melanoma” in the region, of which 511 people. healed and observed for 5 years or more; in Terengul district 11 people are registered.

What is melanoma?

Skin melanoma is one of the most aggressive malignant skin tumors. Once it has arisen, the disease can imperceptibly develop in the surface layer of the skin (epidermis), then, having strengthened, the tumor begins to grow deeper.

A peculiarity of melanoma is a weak connection of malignant cells with each other, they easily break away from the bulk of the tumor and, “fly away” through the blood and lymphatic vessels of the body, give multiple metastases to the lymph nodes, lungs, liver, brain …

Any mole (nevus) or age spot is a weak spot in the skin. It is them that melanoma chooses in 80% of cases in order to disguise, hide.

Oncologists, when excising melanoma or suspecting this disease, use certain rules for excision with obligatory histological examination of the distant formation.

Factors favoring the development of melanoma:

  • hormonal,
  • endocrine,
  • genetic,
  • traumatic,
  • ultraviolet,
  • immune.

The most common irritant that contributes to the development of melanoma is ultraviolet radiation.

When to see a doctor?

As a rule, moles do not change shape, color or size throughout their lives.Most often they are brown, beige or black, evenly colored, round or oval in shape, with a well-defined border. They usually appear on the skin in the first ten years of life, sometimes later, mainly in those places that are open to sunlight. Moles larger than 0.5 cm, as well as highly pigmented and sharply separated from the surface of the skin (having a peculiar accent edge), require special attention. The “lacquered” surface of a mole or age spot, as well as any sudden transformation of them, whether it concerns shape, color, size, is also a serious reason for contacting a specialist.

Symptoms characteristic of the degeneration of moles and age spots.

  • a sharp change in pigmentation – to black or a decrease in color intensity,
  • appearance of uneven pigmentation,
  • peeling,
  • violation and / or complete absence of the skin pattern of a nevus or age spot,
  • the appearance of an inflammatory areola around the nevus (reddish corolla),
  • enlargement and consolidation,
  • the appearance of cracks, ulceration, bleeding.

Each of these signs should seriously alert and force you to immediately contact a specialist.


  1. Never tan from 11:00 to 15:00. This is the most dangerous time. The midday sun should be avoided. Neither a beach suit nor an awning will save you from its harmful rays. At this time, dry sand reflects up to 17% of ultraviolet rays, clouds and fog transmit up to 50%, wet clothes after swimming – from 20 to 40%.
  2. Approach the solarium carefully.You should refuse to visit the solarium for people with very light skin, children under the age of 18, with a large number of birthmarks, with cases of malignant melanoma in the family, with a history of severe sunburn.
  3. If you accidentally injured a birthmark – for example, touched it with your fingernail, be sure to see a doctor!
  4. Make it a rule to constantly monitor: whether the number of moles, their size, color, surface structure has changed. It is very important.After all, melanoma, like any other oncological disease, can be cured only at the initial stage.
  5. In case of presence of suspicious formations on the skin, it is necessary to go to an appointment with a dermatologist at the State Healthcare Institution “Terengulskaya RB” in order to refer them for a consultative examination to the State Healthcare Institution OKOD.
  6. 90 025 90 000 Skin cancer – treatment abroad

    Melanoma develops from pigment cells (melanocytes) of the skin. This is the most malignant skin tumor.Already at an early stage, melanoma can form satellites (metastases) to other organs. In rare cases, melanoma can also develop on the mucous membrane. For example, in the mouth or genital area. White or light-colored skin cancers (spinalioma, basalioma) develop from epithelial cells (keratinocytes) of the skin. Unlike melanoma, white skin cancers tend to grow only locally and do not produce satellites. The main cause of all three types of skin cancer is exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation.Therefore, skin cancer manifests itself mainly in those places that are often exposed to the sun. Along with natural UV rays (the sun), artificial sources of UV radiation in tanning salons are also a risk factor. The most important recommendations for the prevention of skin cancer are:

    • avoid sunburn
    • from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. be in the shade
    • In case of strong active sun, protect the skin with a headdress (hat), sunglasses and clothing
    • Apply sunscreen to skin
    • avoid visiting tanning salons

    All 3 types of skin cancer occur predominantly in people of middle age or old age.However, melanoma can also appear in young people, in this age group, it is even one of the most common types of cancer.

    Since skin cancer can look completely different, it is necessary to examine each new spot on the skin or changes in existing birthmarks (moles). An alarm bell is considered to be the appearance of spots with uneven and fuzzy contours on the skin, moles that itch and itch, age spots or tumors (neoplasms) on the skin that bleed, as well as age spots that change in size and color.People with a large number of moles need to be checked regularly (once a year) by a dermatologist.

    To diagnose a suspicious spot or neoplasm (tumor) on the skin, tissue samples are taken for examination. If the suspicion of skin cancer is confirmed, then such a neoplasm is removed surgically. In cases of basalioma and spinalioma, treatment ends there. In cases of melanoma, additional diagnostic tests will be required to determine the stage of the disease and detect possible metastases.These tests include ultrasound, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and skeletal scintigraphy. The chances of a cure in the case of melanoma depend on the stage of the disease. With early recognition, the chance to cure melanoma by prompt removal is great.