What you need to know about: Skin Malignant Melanoma
Is my dark freckle a malignant melanoma?
It is right to worry about whether you may have a malignant melanoma on your skin. Especially if you find a new freckle that looks quite dark, bleeds, or gets a little raised.
Dermatologists manage Cutaneous malignant melanoma. Dr Jennifer Crawley is our dermatologist here at Clinica London. She works under the guidelines of the British Association of Dermatologists for the management of cutaneous melanoma. Those guidelines were put together by a combination of specialists. Specialists such as The UK Melanoma Study Group, the BAD (British Association of Dermatologists), the BAPRAS (the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons), the RCP (Royal College of Physicians) and many other important medical academic colleges, plus the Department of Health.
Prevention of Melanoma
Melanoma is caused by intermittent intense sun exposure. Fair-skinned individuals should, therefore, limit their sun exposure through life. Particularly people with freckles, red or blonde hair, or skin that burns easily in the sun. Those who already have a large number of freckles, nevi and a family history of melanoma are all at increased risk. People in these groups should be careful to limit their sun exposure.
Adequate sun exposure to allow Vitamin D synthesis is essential to human health. So fair skin people, who avoid the sun rigorously to reduce the risk of melanoma, should consider supplementing their intake of Vitamin D3 in the absence of any medical contraindication.
Even sunbed usage increases the risk of melanoma. Young adults under the age of 35 years should avoid sunbeds.
How common is skin melanoma?
Skin melanoma is uncommon. However, all lesions suspicious of melanoma should be referred urgently to a dermatologist. If you think you have a melanoma, you should see your GP. They should refer you to a dermatologist, and arrange an appointment for an assessment.