What to watch for

Here are 19 different images of malignant melanoma, with specific features of change identified in each:

Click on the thumbnail photo for a larger image.

1. This lesion demonstrates significant variation in pigmentation, ranging from black to red. There is an eccentric area of outgrowth of pigment. There is also scale on the surface, and loss of symmetry.

Melanoma Image 1A - Small Melanoma Image 1B - Small

2. This lesion shows marked asymmetry, variation in pigmentation, and irregular outlines. There is a white area on the upper part where the lesion has regressed.

Melanoma Image 2 - Small

3. This slowly-growing lesion has been present on the medial upper calf for one year, and has increased in size. It demonstrates variation in pigmentation, poorly outlined margins, and varigate eccentric pigment.

Melanoma Image 3A - Small Melanoma Image 3B - Small

4. This poorly-demarcated asymmetrical lesion has variation in color from pink to brown and black. Grey areas are noted on the lower right, where the lesion has been partially reabsorbed by the body, a process known as regression.

Melanoma Image 4 - Small

5. This is a variegated lesion, which has grown in opposite directions. The central part has regressed, causing the pale area, and the pigment is irregular.

Melanoma Image 5 - Small

6. This is a Lentigo maligna, a slow-growing melanoma limited to the upper layer of the skin. It shows irregular pigmentation. The pink area at the left side of the lesion in a biopsy site.

Melanoma Image 6A - Small Melanoma Image 6B - Small

7. This irregular pigmented lesion has loss of symmetry and irregular pigmentation.

Melanoma Image 7 - Small

8. This lesion, which has been growing on the medial upper thigh, shows a nodule, irregular pigmentation. One area on the right side shows loss of pigmentation, characteristic of an amelanotic melanoma.

Melanoma Image 8A - Small Melanoma Image 8B - Small

9. This lesion of the mid upper back shows loss of central pigment, an irregular outline, and poor symmetry. There is some scale on the surface.

Melanoma Image 9A - Small Melanoma Image 9B - Small

10. This lesion is on the upper thigh has been slowly growing over several years. It is highly asymmetrical, with significant variation in pigmentation.

Melanoma Image 10A - Small Melanoma Image 10B - Small

11. This patient had a mole on the chest for more than 20 years. It began to change rapidly with the appearance of the black lump. The black bumps beyond the edge of the mole are from spread of the melanoma through the skin.

Melanoma Image 11A - Small Melanoma Image 11B - Small

12. This lesion on the outer part of the foot shows the very poorly-demarcated features of a malignant melanoma, areas of regression and irregular pigmentation.

Melanoma Image 12 - Small

13. This is a melanoma arising in a mole on the upper chest of a patient with multiple moles. The pigmentation is irregular and varied, the margins irregular, and it has been growing.

Melanoma Image 13 - Small

14. This flat lesion has evolved over one year with an increase in size, irregular pigment, and loss of marginal definition. These are the hallmarks of a Lentigo maligna which has the potential to become an invasive melanoma.

Melanoma Image 14 - Small

15. One year old mole on the outer thigh of a young woman was noted by a friend at a party. It has an irregular shape and varied pigmentation.

Melanoma Image 15 - Small

16. This mole has a one year history of growing, with the appearance of asymmetry, an irregular outline, and varied pigment.

Melanoma Image 16A - Small Melanoma Image 16B - Small

17. This mole has been present on this gentleman's forearm for over 40 years. In the last 6 months it has grown rapidly, become elevated, and changed color.

Melanoma Image 17 - Small

18. This itchy mole has been present on the upper back of a young man for two years. It has undergone recent growth, and developed areas of pink, gray, and dark brown.

Melanoma Image 18 - Small

19. This melanoma has grown over three years. It demonstrates every feature of ABCD. It is asymmetric with a collage of scalloped edges from localized growth. The borders are irregular and poorly defined. The colors range from black to brown to pink to white. The diameter has increased over time.

Melanoma Image 19A - Small Melanoma Image 19B - Small