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How does acral lentiginous melanoma affect the body?

The cause of acral lentiginous melanoma is thought to be tied to the overproduction of certain skin cells called melanocytes, which are the cells that produce skin pigment. This cell overgrowth usually starts as a new skin lesion that's usually irregularly-shaped and may be tan, brown, or black. Generally, these lesions are found in "hidden" areas, such as the mucous membranes, palms, soles, and nail beds. As they grow, they may thicken, but they can also remain completely flat. If they're found in mucous membranes, lesions may cause bleeding. If they occur in nail beds, the lesions may cause colored streaks across the nail, and the nail may separate from the nail bed. Acral lentiginous melanoma progresses very quickly, and if it's not diagnosed early, the cancer can spread rapidly through the skin.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.