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What is amelanotic melanoma?

Dr. Stuart A. Linder, MD
Plastic Surgeon

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.

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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.