Melanoma risk revealed in skin colour and naevus patterns

In a presentation to the annual scientific meeting of the Australasian College of Dermatologists in Melbourne this week, researchers from the University of Queensland revealed preliminary results of a cross-sectional study of 175 people, approximately half of whom were considered at high risk of melanoma due to personal or family history.

The study compared their skin type as measured by the Fitzpatrick scale, by spectrophotometry and by both total naevus count and the type of naevus. 

They found a significant correlation between an individual’s skin type as measured by subjective Fitzpatrick score and as measured by spectrophotometry, with higher spectrophotometry readings correlating with lighter skin tone.

There were, however, significant differences between skin colour and naevus patterns in calculating individual melanoma risk.

Dr Natalie Ong, lead researcher on the project and an honorary dermatology registrar at Princess