Melanoma – Superficial Spreading Melanoma

October 15th, 2011

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.

Superficial Spreading Melanoma