What is Skin Cancer in Children (Melanoma)?

Melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer, but you can usually get it from contact with adults. But it also occurs in children. Pediatric melanoma accounts for only 1 percent of all new cases of melanoma diagnosed in the United States each year.

However, malignant melanoma is a cancer of the skin in children and adolescents, although it is still very rare. It increased by 2% per year between the years 1970 and 2009, mainly among adolescents.

Melanoma is almost always a skin cancer. Melanoma is less common in the digestive system and mucous glands of the body.

Melanoma begins with the melanocytes. These are the cells that produce melanin, which gives the skin its color. Melanoma can often be thought of as an isolated mole on the skin in the early stages. But from there, cancer can spread to other parts of the body, including organs.


There are three main types of skin cancer:

Basal cell carcinoma: Basal cell carcinoma is more common in diagnosed skin cancers. It is a very treatable cancer that grows very slowly. Basal cell carcinoma usually appears as a small lump or shiny nodule on the skin, mainly in areas exposed to the sun such as the head, neck, arms, hands, and face. It is more common in people with fair eyes, hair and complexion. Malignant melanoma: Malignant melanoma accounts for the smallest percentage of all skin cancers, but represents the highest mortality from skin cancer. Malignant melanoma begins in the cells of the melanocytes that produce pigment in the skin.Malignant melanoma sometimes begins as a cancerous mole. Cancer spreads quickly to other parts of the body. Malignant melanoma occurs most often in fair-skinned men and women, but it can affect people with all skin types. Squamous carcinoma: Although squamous cell carcinoma is more aggressive than basal cell carcinoma, it is still very treatable. It is present in a very small percentage of all skin cancers. Squamous cell carcinoma nodules, or red, appear as scaly patches of the skin and can be found on the face, ears, lips, and mouth.Squamous cell carcinoma can spread to other parts of the body, but it is very rare. This type of skin cancer is more common in people with fair skin.


Symptoms of basal cell carcinoma include sun exposure to the head, face, neck, arms, and hands. Features include:

Small swollen bump, it may be shiny or pearly and may have small blood vessels Small, flattened, scaly, irregular in shape, and pale pink or red. The area that bleeds easily, then heals and seems to be gone, then bleeds again in a few weeks With increased margins, lower area in the middle and growth with brown, blue or black areas

Symptoms of squamous cell carcinoma are found in areas exposed to the sun such as the head, face, neck, arms, and hands. They are also found on other parts of the body, such as the skin of the genital area. Features include:

A rough or scaly lump that grows quickly Acne-like growths can cause bleeding or scabbing. Flat, red patches on the skin are irregularly shaped and may bleed

Symptoms of melanoma A mole with a change in mole or a new mole with ABCDE symptoms:

Inequality: Half of the mole does not match the other half. Manipulation of borders: The edges of the mole are torn or jagged. Color: The mole has different colors. It can be beige, brown, black, red or other colors. Or there may be areas that appear to have lost color. Article: The mole is about 6 millimeters larger than the size of the pencil eraser. But some melanomas are small. Development: A mole varies in size, shape or color.

Other symptoms of melanoma include a mole:

Itching or pain Ojas, bleeds or gets crispy Turns red or swells Your baby will be different from other moles


Exposure to the sun is a major factor in skin cancer. Skin cancer is more common in people with pale skin, pale eyes, and copper or red hair. Other risk factors:

History of sunstroke There are very small scars Have a lot of moles Containing heterogeneous moles (marine dysplastic). These large, oddly shaped moles run through families. Previously radiotherapy Years. Your risk increases as you get older. Family history of skin cancer Previously had skin cancer Time spent in the sun Using tanning beds or lamps Taking medications that suppress the immune system. Some rare inherited conditions, such as basal cell nevus syndrome (Gorlin syndrome) or xeroderma pigmentosum (XP) HPV infection Actinic keratosis or Bowen's disease. These are red or brown patches that are rough or dry on the skin.

Risk factors

Skin cancer is more common in people with fair skin, especially those with blond or red hair, and those with pale eyes. Skin cancer is very rare in children. However, no one is safe from skin cancer. Other risk factors:

Family history of melanoma Sunshine. Spending unsafe time in the sun directly affects your child's risk of skin cancer. Childhood sunstroke. Research has shown that sunburns early in life increase the risk of skin cancer in children. Exposure to the sun early in life is a major factor in the development of skin cancer. Very small scars Diversified polka dots / navy blue Pre-radiation therapy Decreased immunity as in those who have had an organ transplant. Some rare inherited conditions, such as basal cell nevus syndrome (Gorlin syndrome) or xeroderma pigmentosum (XP)


Most childhood melanomas cannot be prevented because they are caused by a mutation (genetic modification). The most important way to prevent melanoma from developing later in life is to limit sun exposure in children and adolescents.

Keep babies under 6 months completely out of the sun, as their skin is very sensitive. If any skin needs sun exposure, apply sunscreen to small areas like the face and hands. Children 6 months and older should wear sunscreen with at least SPF 30 a day.

Other ways to help prevent skin cancer:

Avoid strong sun during the day, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Encourage children to wear wide-brimmed hats and long, loose-fitting cotton clothing, especially if they are prone to burns. Make sure teens understand the dangers of tanning salons Be a good role model yourself

Not all skin cancers are melanomas, but every case of melanoma is serious. Do what you can to reduce your child's risk and help them make better choices about sun protection.

The skin is an incredible organ. It's your first line of defense against illness, and it protects your other organs, warms and cools you, and sends messages about how healthy you are on the inside. Dermatologists are professional doctors and skin surgeons with unique skills and experience to provide the best care for the organ that cares for you. Choose the Best Dermatologist in Hyderabad from top hospitals. Book Online Dermatologists Consultation with Skedoc. View patient reviews, Consultation Fee, Contact Numbers, Address etc.