We all know to check for melanoma and other skin cancers in the obvious places like the back, face, legs and arms, but you’d be surprised where else they can appear.
Not all melanoma is caused by sun exposure: in fact, melanoma can appear in areas that are out of sight – and therefore often out of mind. Although these ‘hidden’ melanomas are fairly rare, they can be even more dangerous because they’re less likely to be caught early – when they’re most treatable.
Here are the 8 places you might not expect to find skin cancer – all the more reason to be vigilant and check your skin regularly.
Fingernails & toenails
While rare, melanoma under the nail bed does happen. Bob Marley died of melanoma on his toenail at age 36. Also known as subungual melanoma, it’s more prevalent on thumbs or big toes, and often appears as a brown or black streak that doesn’t disappear over time.
Look out for:
- a light-to-dark-brown colored band on the nail (usually vertical)
- a dark band on the nail that slowly expands and covers more of the nail
- dark nail pigmentation that expands to the surrounding skin
- a nodule underneath the nail (with or without a band of dark colour)
- nail brittleness, cracking or bleeding at the site of pigmentation