Published On: Tue, Nov 10th, 2020

The four types of melanoma that you should know

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A single melanoma can give us an alert of something wrong in our body. Especially when it comes to skin cancer. This disease is the most common cancer in the world but there is still a lot of ignorance about it.

Even having sunburns can increase your possibilities of having skin cancer. Therefore, you must be aware of the types of melanomas that exist and the characteristics of each one of them.

Definition of melanoma

Melanoma is the most severe type of skin cancer. This type produces in the cells that produce melanin, which is the one that pigmentates your skin. It usually forms in your skin but can also appear in your eyes and, in some really rare cases, inside your body like in your nose or throat.

Although this cancer can appear anywhere, usually, it develops in the areas of the body where there is more sun exposure. In people with darker skin, melanoma can begin in the areas where there is not much sun exposure like the palms of your hands.

If you have an unusual mole, you can identify if it is a product of melanoma with de ABCDE rule:

  • A for asymmetrical size
  • B forirregular border
  • C for changes of color
  • D for diameter
  • E for evolving
3D render of a medical background with a virus cell attacking another

Types of melanoma

There are four main types of skin melanoma. These are the following:

  1. Superficial spreading melanoma: This is the most common type. It grows at the top layer of the skin and later can penetrate deeper into it. 70% of the cases of patients who have melanoma have this particular type and it can occur because of spending a lot of time trying to get tan under the sun or with the help of tanning beds.
  2. Nodular melanoma: This is the most fast-growing cancer. It appears because the cells of melanin, which are called melanocytes, grow in an uncontrollable way that leads to the formation of tumors. The most common way of identifying this type of melanoma is by having a bump in the skin surface that is firm to the touch.
  3. Lentigo malignant melanoma: This is the one that mainly affects people with skin very damaged because of sun exposure. It can appear on the neck, scalp, or face. Sometimes they make the patient’s face look blotchy.
  4. Acral lentiginous melanoma: This type of melanoma is much common in people of Asian and African Descent. The spots in the skin in this particular case tend to have a much darker color than the skin surrounding it. Some spots can be a little redder or orange.

How to prevent melanoma

This is how you can prevent this disease:

  • Avoid ultraviolet radiation
  • Wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen every day
  • Make sure your clothes can protect you from the sun
  • Do not use tanning beds. They can increase your chances of getting melanoma by 75%

If you have a mole that looks dangerous, seek help from a doctor. An early diagnosis can help you to get treatment as soon as possible and increases your chances of surviving skin cancer. Many treatments can save your life.


  1. Skin Cancer Foundation
  2. Mayo Clinic
  3. Healthline
  4. Melanoma Research Alliance



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