Are you trying to learn about the different types of melanoma? If yes, you should check out our guide here on the key things to understand.

May is Melanoma Awareness Month. Do you know the most common types of melanoma? While it’s less common than some other forms of skin cancer, melanoma can quickly become dangerous if not caught and treated early enough.

The Main Types of Melanoma Explained: A Useful Guide

Becoming more familiar with it can help you recognize a skin blemish that’s more than “just” a blemish. Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that happens when the melanocytes in your skin begin to grow abnormally.

Here’s a look at a few of the most common types of melanoma and how to take care of your skin to help prevent an occurrence.

Superficial Spreading Melanoma

Superficial spreading melanoma is the most common type of melanoma. This type of skin cancer gets its name from the way it grows across the skin. Superficial spreading melanoma spreads in an outward pattern, rather than down into sublayers of the skin.

Anyone can develop this type of melanoma, but you’re most likely to see it in men and women between the ages of 30-50 years old. Most commonly found on your legs, if you notice a dark spot that grows outward, call your dermatologist.

Removing these surface-level tumors is a more straightforward procedure with a faster recovery rate than more invasive melanomas.

Nodular Melanoma

A nodular melanoma spot quickly invades the lower layers of the skin. Developing as a “node,” this type of skin cancer is less common but can develop quicker than superficial spreading melanoma.

With nodular melanoma, you’ll feel a bump along with dark skin discoloration. Removal requires digging deeper into your skin to remove the growth. The sooner your doctor can remove one of these growths, the better to stop its invasion beneath your skin.

Lentigo Maligna Melanoma

If you love being out in the sun, you might be more susceptible to Lentigo Maligna Melanoma. You’ll find it on arms, ears, and faces—areas of the body that receive frequent sun exposure with minimal protection.

These skin tumors are most common in older populations from years of regular sun exposure. They appear as flat brown or tan brown patches with an uneven border.

Lentigo Maligna Melanoma grows slowly over surface layers of skin before going deeper to lower layers.

Acral Lentiginous Melanoma

Most common in populations with darker complexions, Acral Lentiginous Melanoma, can happen without sun exposure. You’ll notice it first on the palms of your hands or soles of your feet.

It starts as a black or dark brown spot that grows outward before invading lower layers of skin.

Learn to Protect Your Skin

The best treatment for melanoma is prevention. For Melanoma Awareness Month, learn more about recognizing these types of skin cancers and how to treat and prevent occurrences.

Seek Treatment for These Types of Melanoma

At the first sign of any of these types of melanoma, seek treatment. Your doctor can treat many skin cancers by removing melanoma spots before they have a chance to spread.

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