The characteristics of the different types of skin cancers

So what are the different types of skin cancers? They are Melanoma and Non-Melanoma.

Non-Melanoma is almost always curable if caught early, but can sometimes be disfiguring. While Melanoma only accounts for 4% of all skin cancers, it can be deadly.

The three different types of Non-melanoma skin cancers are:

1. Actinic Keratoses

2. Basal Cell Carcinoma

3. Squamous Cell Carcinoma

The different types of skin cancers in the Melanoma category are broken down into two groups: Situ and Nodular Melanoma.

Situ is usually not life threatening if caught early, while Nodular Melanoma is quite aggressive.

These first three called:


1. Superficial Spreading Melanoma:

  • It is found most often in younger people
  • It accounts for about 70% of all diagnosed melanomas
  • It spreads across the top layers of the skin before penetrating deeper
  • It often looks like an irregular, raised and discolored patch of skin
  • It is found any wear the body, but most often on the areas most exposed to the suns UV rays
  • It is easy to detect (if you know what to look for) and treat, if it's caught early

2. Lentigo Maligna

  • This one is most often found in older people
  • Usually stays close to the tops layers for a long time before penetrating deeper, making it easier to detect.
  • It most often affects the skin that has been overexposed and damaged by the sun, areas like the face and hands.
  • Its appearance is often flat or slightly raised and may resemble a light brown or black freckle.

3. Acral Lentiginous Melanoma

  • Is the least common form of melanoma
  • It often looks like bruise, a discoloration on palms, fingers, soles or toes (including the skin under the nails).
  • African-Americans and Asians are more likely to develop this form of melanoma.

All Situ will become invasive if left untreated.

The last type of Melanoma skin cancer is:

4. Nodular Melanoma

  • This is also found mostly in the elderly
  • It appears as dome-shaped bumps and can be anywhere on the body.
  • They can be any color, black, dark brown, red or blue, tan or white, and have a shiny or scaly texture.
  • This is frequently found on the legs, arms, and torso.
  • These tumors quickly penetrate into the body and have the lowest cure rates
  • 10 to 15 percent of all melanomas are nodular.

If you have ever been diagnosed with melanoma, you are at a higher risk for developing melanoma skin cancer again. Stay very aware of your moles and any changes to your skin.

The ABCDE rule is the best guideline for identifying if your mole might be melanoma skin cancer. Check it out here:

In most cases, Non-Melanoma is moderately easy to treat because it rarely spreads to other parts of the body. However, there are rare cases when the disease can spread, making early detection the key to survival. The beginning step is to understand the different types of skin cancers, early detection and prevention.

Now that you know what the different types of skin cancers are, find out how to treat them.

Any information on this site is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure skin cancer. This site is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace proper medical care. Always seek the advice of a trained health professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before seeking any treatment. Proper medical attention should always be sought for specific ailments. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking medical treatment due to information obtained on

Stay alive and well with