Superficial Spreading Melanoma is a subtype of melanoma that I encounter in both my The Woodlands dermatology and Conroe dermatology offices. Superficial Spreading Melanoma can occur with almost equal frequency on both sun damaged and sun protected skin. Clinically, a Superficial Spreading Melanoma is a flat pigmented lesion that has multiple different colors throughout such as black, brown, tan, blue, pink and/or red. A Superficial Spreading Melanoma becomes elevated above the skin surface as the invasive/vertical phase occurs with the melanoma penetrating into the dermis. Unlike a Lentigo Maligna, which has very ill defined edges, the borders of a Superficial Spreading Melanoma are more well circumscribed and better defined. The treatment of a Superficial Spreading Melanoma is wide excision with the margins depending on certain pathological criteria such as depth and a sentinel lymph node biopsy may be necessary as well. As with all melanomas, lifelong surveillance by a board certified dermatologist is mandatory.
October 15, 2011
Medically reviewed by Anthony J. Perri, M.D.
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