Melanoma is one of the more dangerous and increasingly common skin cancers that we encounter in dermatology. It arises from the melanocyte cells within the skin. Melanocytes are the cells that contribute to the pigment of your skin. Melanoma can begin in an existing mole that starts to change or it can arise in normal-appearing skin. Genetic and environmental factors play a role in developing melanoma. Risk factors include light complexion, red/blond hair, light-colored eyes, history of blistering sunburns, tanning bed use, heavy freckling, and people that sunburn easily.

Understanding Your Skin

Treatment And Care

Why S. Albertson Is Different

At S. Albertson Dermatology and Skin Cancer Center, we take melanoma very seriously. We specialize in the treatment of melanoma. As with any type of cancer, early detection is paramount. Regular skin checks are important to allow early detection of melanoma. Any new skin spots or spots that are changing should be evaluated by a dermatologist. Treatment of melanoma will typically consist of surgical removal and in some cases lymph node biopsy with follow-up chemotherapy medications. Each case is different and needs special consideration.

Melanoma dermatologic treatment in Idaho Falls

Types of Melanoma

Unique to You

Acne dermatologic treatment in Idaho Falls

Superficial spreading melanoma is the most common type of melanoma. As the name suggests it begins more superficial in the skin growing as a flat lesion. It will initially grow in the top layers of the skin in a horizontal direction but if left long enough it will begin to grow down vertically into the deeper layers of the skin. Clinically these lesions have a variable presentation. They can be tan, brown, red, black, white, blue, or commonly multicolored. 

Nodular melanoma is the second most common type of melanoma. Unlike the superficial spreading type, nodular melanomas begin with a vertical growth phase. Starting in a downward growth pattern makes this type more dangerous. Clinically they will present as a nodule or bump that is brown, black, red, blue, white, pink, or a combination of colors. They will often bleed easily and become ulcerated if bumped. 

Lentigo Maligna Melanoma typically occurs on chronically sun-damaged areas of the head and neck. This type is more commonly seen in the sixth and seventh decades of life. Lentigo Maligna follows a slow growth pattern typically in a radial or horizontal direction. If left untreated for many years it can start to grow in a vertical invasive direction. Clinically it presents as a flat or slightly raised skin lesion with multiple colors including brown, tan, and black. 

Acral lentiginous melanoma is the most common type of melanoma in dark-skinned and Asian persons. It is important to note that this type can occur in all skin types but is just more common in darker skin types. Clinically it presents as a brown/black flat or slightly elevated skin lesion affecting the palms and soles. It can also present around the nail unit of the hands and feet. This can be a dangerous type of melanoma as it can often go undetected on the bottom of the foot.

How We Can Help

See the Difference

At S. Albertson Dermatology and Skin Cancer Center we specialize in early detection of melanoma and treatment of melanoma. Every melanoma is slightly different and needs special consideration for treatment. Individualized treatment plans are based on the size, depth, microscopic features, and genetic analysis of the tumor cells. Seeing your dermatologist regularly for full skin exams and as needed for new skin spots that arise plays a huge role in melanoma survival rates. If left too long, melanomas can spread to other parts of your body. Don’t hesitate to have your moles and other spots checked regularly.