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July 22, 1983

Skin Markings in Malignant Melanoma

Author Affiliations

From the Pigmented Lesion Study Group, Departments of Dermatology (Drs Bondi and Clark) and Pathology (Drs Elder and Clark) and Comprehensive Cancer Center (Dr Guerry), Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

JAMA. 1983;250(4):503-505. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03340040043029

Photographic analysis of the skin markings in 92 malignant melanomas (66 superficial spreading, seven nodular, 12 acral lentiginous, and seven lentigo maligna melanomas) was undertaken. Skin markings are uniformly eradicated in areas of vertical growth phase disease and sometimes in areas of regression. Not only were skin markings always preserved in areas of radial growth phase disease, but they were sometimes accentuated. For all types of melanoma, loss of skin markings is a poor diagnostic criterion because it is a late sign associated with invasion of the dermis and thus a deteriorating prognosis.

(JAMA 1983;250:503-505)