Do you have a mole that bled after you scratched it and are now fearing it’s melanoma, the deadliest skin cancer?
“If a mole that is scratched bleeds, this may signify skin cancer,” says Dr. Rebecca Tung, MD, director of the dermatology division at Loyola University Health System, Chicago.
In some melanomas (skin cancer), the architecture of the skin is abnormal and the skin is unusually fragile, leading to easy bleeding from only minor trauma.
“While it is possible to make any skin lesion bleed if it is scratched aggressively, a mole that bleeds from only minimal irritation deserves to be looked at by a dermatologist to determine if it is okay or needs further evaluation with a skin biopsy.”
I thought that the malignant cells of melanomas were so “sticky” that it would require quite a bit of trauma to shear the structure enough to cause bleeding. Dr. Tung explains:
“Skin cancers that grow rapidly typically have significant blood supply. These close to the surface vessels can be provoked to easy bleeding with only minimal skin trauma like scratching or rubbing.”
Dr. Tung’s specialties include general dermatology with skin cancer surveillance, moles, melanoma, surgery (Mohs micrographic, laser, skin cancer reconstruction) and cosmetic dermatology.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.