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JanelleRPA, Physician Assistant
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 322
Experience:  25 + years of experience in family practice, internal medicine and family planning
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I have a brown spot on my upper back about the size of ...

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I have a brown spot on my upper back about the size of a thumbnail. It is brown spot that is dry. It almost seems like I could scrape it off with my fingernail. Should I be alarmed?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  JanelleRPA replied 8 years ago.

Dear sir,

I am the author of "Primary Care Dermatology". First, I'll describe the various types of melanomas so you can see if the descriptions resemble the spot you're concerned about. Two-thirds of melanomas are of the superficial spreading melanoma type. They usually are irregularly shaped, raised, tan or brown in color with red, white, black or blue spots, or small protuberant blue/black nodules. Small notch-like indentations around the border may be present. Lentigo maligna melanoma appears on the face or other sun-exposed areas as a 2-6 centimeter patch, flat, tan or brown, irregularly shaped with darker brown or black spots scattered irregularly on its surface. Nodular melanomas can occur anywhere on the body as a protuberant papule and can vary in color from pearl to gray to black. An uncommon type of melanoma called acral-lentiginous melanoma occurs most often in people of African American descent, usually on the palms, soles, or skin under the tongue. The lesion on your back may be a seborrheic keratosis. They commonly occur in mid-to-later life on the trunk or face. They may be round or oval and have a rough "warty" surface. They have a "stuck on" appearance, as if they could be easily scraped away, but they are firmly attached to the skin. They are NOT premalignant and treatment isn't necessary unless they are irritated, itchy, or cosmetically unacceptable - in which case they can be removed with cryotherapy (freezing). I hope this guidance has been helpful to you. Feel welcome to write again if you have more questions. Very best regards, JanelleRPAC

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