Features of Skin Cancer in Black Individuals: A Single-Institution Retrospective Cohort Study

Rachel N. Manci, Megan Dauscher, Michael A. Marchetti, Richard Usatine, Veronica Rotemberg, Stephen W. Dusza, Ashfaq A. Marghoob

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Introduction: Minimal knowledge exists regarding skin cancers in Black individuals, which may adversely affect patient care. Objectives: To describe clinical features and risk factors of skin cancers in Black individuals. Methods: Retrospective study of Black individuals diagnosed with skin cancer between January 2000 and January 2020 at our institution. Results: 38,589 patients were diagnosed with skin cancer, of which 165 were Black individuals. One-hundred-thirteen of these Black individuals were diagnosed with melanoma, 35 with squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), and 17 with basal cell carcinoma (BCC). Most melanomas (80.0%, n = 90) were of the acral subtype; 75% (6 of 8 cases with dermoscopic images) displayed a parallel ridge pattern (PRP). The surrounding uninvolved background skin was visible in 7 cases, all demonstrating a PRP. This disappeared adjacent to most of the melanoma lesions (n = 4, 57.1%). creating a peripheral hypopigmented “halo”. The nonmelanoma skin cancers were pigmented and had similar dermoscopic features as reported in predominantly White populations. Most SCCs (n = 5, 71.4%) had a hypopigmented “halo” and most BCCs (n = 10, 55.6%) had an accentuated reticular network adjacent to the lesions. Conclusions: Skin cancers are pigmented in Black individuals. In both acral melanomas and SCCs, we noted a peripheral rim of hypopigmentation between the lesions and the surrounding uninvolved background skin, while BCCs had accentuation of the background pigmentation adjacent to the lesions. Most acral melanomas displayed a PRP, which was also seen in surrounding uninvolved background skin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2022075
JournalDermatology Practical and Conceptual
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2022


  • dermoscopy
  • ethnic skin
  • skin cancer
  • skin of color

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Dermatology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Oncology


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