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


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.


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


Written surveys were collected from 1040 dermatology clinic patients.


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.


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


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