Monica S. Tsai, BS, Melvin W. Chiu, MD, MPH
Division of Dermatology, David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, California

Background

Acral lentiginous melanomas compose a higher proportion of melanomas and have a higher mortality in ethnic minorities than in whites. Early detection by acral surface inspection during skin examinations may lead to improved acral lentiginous melanoma outcomes.

Objective

This study compared patient-reported frequencies of acral skin examinations in ethnic and white populations.

Methods

Written surveys were collected from 1040 dermatology clinic patients.

Results

More whites reported performing self-skin examinations than ethnic minorities (P < .01), but there was no difference in the rates of hand (P = .7) or foot (P = .87) inspection during self-skin examination between whites and ethnic minorities. More whites (77.5%) than ethnic minorities (38.9%) reported having undergone a full-body skin examination (FBSE) from a health care provider (P < .01). During their most recent FBSE by a health care provider, more whites than ethnic minorities reported having their hands examined (P = .02), but there was no difference in reported hand inspection (P = .06) at any previous FBSE or foot inspection at any (P = .07) or the most recent (P = .59) FBSE between whites and ethnic minorities.

Limitations

Single-center study using a new unvalidated survey is a limitation.

Conclusion

Whites were found to more frequently report self-skin examination and FBSE than ethnic minorities, but significant differences in reported acral examinations were not detected.

Source: JAAD

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