What is amelanotic melanoma?

Amelanotic melanoma has the same risks of pigmented melanoma and it does need to be lesioned and biopsied. Learn more about amelanotic melanoma in this video with the help of Frederick Cason, MD from Oak Hill Hospital.
Stuart A. Linder, MD
Plastic Surgery

Amelanotic melanoma often appears as a lesion without color, irregular borders, and a small amount of pigmented area. A desmoplastic melanoma is commonly found under the nail bed with minimal color as well. 

Amelanotic melanoma is a type of melanoma, which is a skin cancer. Like most melanomas, amelanotic melanoma is related to the cells that make melanin, which is the protective pigment that gives skin color. However, unlike other types of melanoma that cause dark, mole-like growths, the irregularly-shaped growths caused by amelanotic melanoma usually have no color (hence the name "amelanotic," or without melanin), or are pink, white, or flesh-colored. This can make treatment difficult since people often ignore these seemingly non-threatening lesions until the disease has already progressed quite far. Any type of melanoma may have amelanotic lesions.

Continue Learning about Melanoma


The most serious type of skin cancer, melanoma affects the cells that give our skin its color. Although it can spread easily, it is curable when treated early.This cancer forms when the cells that make melanin grow abnormally or d...

o not die when they should. These cells, called melanocytes, are found in our skin’s outer layer. Melanoma typically begins in a mole or birthmark but can form in other tissues with pigmentation, such as your eye. When melanoma develops in the eye, it is called Intraocular Melanoma. Protect yourself by avoiding overexposure from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Stay vigilant of any changes in your skin, especially if you have the skin disease Xeroderma pigmentosum, which makes you sensitive to light. You are also more likely to develop melanoma if someone in your family has been previously diagnosed with this specific type of cancer.

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.