Acral Lentiginous Melanoma

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What is Acral Lentiginous Melanoma?

Acral lentiginous melanoma (ALM) is the most common type of melanoma in people with darker skin, and is not associated with sun exposure.

It may appear as a black or brown area in hard-to-spot places such as nails and on the soles of the feet or palms of the hands.

Did You Know?

Bob Marley was diagnosed with acral lentiginous melanoma which ultimately claimed his life in 1981 at age 36. When a dark spot appeared under his toenail, Marley attributed it to a soccer injury. Eventually he was diagnosed with the disease but was not treated. His melanoma spread to other areas of his body and tragically cut his life short.

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Treatment

ALM can be treated if caught early enough but it can be hard to spot. It usually presents as an irregular dark spot or stain surrounded by normal skin. Even if the spot is small there may be a lot more you can not see below the surface-damaging cells.

Practice routine skin checks in hard-to-spot places such as nails and on the soles of the feet or palms of the hands to recognize ALM early and prevent progression.

If you spot anything suspicious, contact a dermatologist immediately.

Help The Cause

Submit a photo of your ALM. This helps us:

  1. Contribute to the Black Skin Health AI Data Set
  2. Create a database of Black skin issues to fill the current void in AI and medicine for use by clinicians and researchers, combating racial bias in AI and medicine
  3. Give Black people a single source of skin health information