The dark side of the sun
Melanoma is skin cancer that forms from melanocytes, which are skin cells that produce melanin (skin pigment). It usually develops on the skin and rarely in the eyes or on the mucous membranes. The results of early treatment are very positive, but very poor in the later stages of the disease.
When assessing the risk of melanoma, we will check the number of pigment spots on your skin. The risk in persons with more than 100 birthmarks is increased by more than ten times. Atypical marks must also be examined. If more than five atypical marks are present, the risk is increased by up to six times. Melanoma may result from innate factors such as presence of the disease in your family, fairness of the skin that sunburns easily and in redheads. Environmental factors may also contribute: chronic excessive exposure to the sun, living close to the equator, going to a solarium and immunodeficiency. The risk of melanoma in persons with freckles and solar lentigo (round brown spots on the face and hands) is four times higher. In light of the above, excess sun exposure and visiting a solarium should be avoided.
There is a lot you can do yourself. First, you should examine your skin at least once a month and look for any new skin growths, birthmarks or changes to the existing ones. If you belong to the group with an increased risk, you should see a dermatologist. At the SKIN centre, we use a dermatoscope to examine all of your marks and assess your risk. Dermatoscopy can detect any potentially dangerous changes in the birthmark. At the SKIN centre, we monitor your birthmarks with digital dermatoscopy. Alternatively, we might recommend surgical resection with histopathology.