Though the most uncommon, Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer. The incidence of melanomas increases every year; however, if detected in its early stages it has a very high cure rate. For this reason, regular skin cancer screenings and self- examinations using the ABCDE’s of melanoma [link to skin cancer page] and Ugly Duckling Rule are critical for early detection.

Common early signs of melanoma are a mole that is: growing, changing color, has an unusual shape, or is an “ugly duckling”. “Ugly duckling” refers to a mole that does not look like any other mole on your skin. Melanoma can be asymptomatic or the mole may feel itchy, painful, or bleed sometimes. Yet another form of melanoma appears as a dark brown or black spot under the fingernail. Melanoma may present with all of these signs, some of them, or just one. If you have any concerns about a spot or mole, it is critical that you be examined by a dermatologist.

Melanomas require surgical excision with a standard border of healthy skin around the area. For more information please visit: