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Sun Tan Myths Exposed – #1 Melanomas form only on sun exposed spots

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MYTH: melanomas form only on sun exposed spots

FACT: face, neck, legs & back are the most likely place to develop melanomas however they can also develop on areas that are far less often exposed to the Sun, such as the soles of the feet, palms of the hands or even fingernail beds.

Melanoma under a nail. Subungual melanoma is a rare form that occurs under a nail but it can also affect the hands or the feet. Subungual melanoma is most often found on people with darker skin pigment. Often the first sign looks like a bruise under the nail and is usually a brown or black in color.

Melanoma often appears as a brown to black lengthwise stripe on the nail.

Usually only one finger or toe is affected.

If you notice more than one of your nails has a band or line, it’s less likely that melanoma is the culprit–but it is still very important to get it checked out to be sure.

* Subungual melanoma affects the big toe and the index finger most frequently

* Don’t forget to check around the nail for brownish or black pigment.

* African American and Japanese women have a higher risk of melanoma under the nail than other ethnic groups.

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