Changes in the skin are often the first warning sign of melanoma. An accurate diagnosis by a doctor or other healthcare professional is critical. Often, the diagnosis can only accurately be made after a lesion is removed and examined. Melanoma can appear anywhere on the body, even on areas that are not exposed to the sun, and can appear in a number of different ways:
- A new, possibly large, irregularly shaped, dark brownish spot with darker or black areas.
- A simple mole that changes in color (particularly turning darker), size (growing), texture (becoming firmer) and/or flakes or bleeds.
- A lesion with an irregular border and red, white, blue, gray or bluish-black areas or spots.
- Shiny, firm, dome-shaped bumps anywhere on the body.
- Dark lesions under the fingernails or toenails, on the palms, soles, tips of fingers and toes, or on mucous membranes (skin that lines the mouth, nose, vagina and anus).