Some melanoma mimickers are other forms of cancer, but most are benign.
Many people will present to a doctor with what they fear is melanoma, when in fact, it turns out to be a benign condition.
But remember this: Many people who are diagnosed with melanoma had put off seeing a doctor, convinced that their “mole” or “pimple” was nothing to worry about.
It’s better to be overreactive to something you discover on your skin than to be underreactive.
Conditions that Mimic Melanoma
Basal Cell Carcinoma
Epidermolysis Bullosa Nevus
This means a spot on the skin from an external source. The image below very much resembles melanoma, but it’s actually a stain from black walnuts.
This term refers to a very tiny round scab, which can mimic melanoma if located on one’s back — preventing one from inspecting it up close.
When on an easy to inspect area such as the forearm, these do look like the scabs they are. They can remain for a few weeks or more before falling off.
Too graphic to post an image, but it’s a brown/black lesion that can affect the eye.
Pigmented Extramammary Paget Disease
Pigmented Fungiform Papillae of the Tongue (mimics oral melanoma)
Too graphic to post.
Pigmented Lichen Planus-like Keratosis
Pimple (can resemble nodular melanoma)
Reticulated Acanthoma with Sebaceous Differentiation
Debris can become trapped in the grooves or crevasses of a mole, creating a “new black spot” in it, which can look like melanoma.
11 More Conditions that May Resemble Melanoma
Here are an additional 11 conditions that can look like melanoma to the naked eye, according to Tejas Patel, MD, a board certified dermatologist with Reforma Dermatology in NYC.
Spitz Nevus (Mole)
Pigmented Actinic Keratosis
A mole traumatized by being scratched or rubbed on by clothing may develop a reddish tinge or even bleed.