Esthetician's Guide to Malignant Melanoma

This condition appears in the ASCP SkinPro app

What is Malignant Melanoma?

The deadliest form of skin cancer; often likely to metastasize to other organs.

What Should I Know About Malignant Melanoma?

  • For suspicious looking lesions, review the Skin Cancer Foundation’s ABCDE protocol for melanoma detection.
  • Refer ANY suspicious looking mole or lesion to a physician.

For suspicious looking lesions, review the Skin Cancer Foundation’s ABCDE protocol for  melanoma detection. A: Asymmetry of the moles or lesion; one half of the lesion does not look like the other. B: Borders of the lesion are uneven. C: Color of the lesion is multicolored. D: Diameter is more than 6 millimeter (size of a pencil eraser). E: Evolving; the lesion is changing in experience.

Moles and mole-like lesions, or moles that are changing in appearance, are the common “alerts” to potential melanoma.

Malignant Melanoma Treatment Considerations

  • Any suspicious mole or lesion seen by the esthetician should be referred to a physician for formal diagnosis. Estheticians are in a unique position to serve as observation screeners for suspicious lesions. with eye-area milia should be advised to soften eye makeup before removal and be gentle when cleansing the eye area.  

Malignant Melanoma Contraindications

  • Clients diagnosed with melanoma should be cleared for further esthetic treatment before proceeding.
  • Avoid peeling or microdermabrasion directly over the lesion, as well as microneedling or laser and/or light energy procedures directly over the lesion.
  • Avoid abrasives like salt and sugar.

ASCP members can access SkinPro to continue reading about malignant melanoma

Not yet an ASCP member? Join ASCP and get ASCP SkinProASCP Career ToolkitsASCP Skin Deep magazine, and the best esthetician liability insurance in the profession!

SkinPro App

ASCP SkinPro

Introducing our newest resource for estheticians, ASCP SkinPro—a web app that can easily be saved to your mobile device!

Included with ASCP membership, ASCP SkinPro is designed to aid in skin analysis by putting the essential knowledge of contraindications for common skin-related conditions and ingredients at your fingertips. Members can log in for access or go directly to the app.

Picture this: You’re in the treatment room and a client tells you they have atopic dermatitis and several allergies. You’re pretty confident you know how to proceed with treatment, but you want to be absolutely sure. Simply open the app, search for the condition, and you’ve got expert information at your fingertips. You can also use ASCP SkinPro to look up ingredients quickly and easily, identifying important contraindications and best practices so you can adjust your treatment plan on the spot.

Consult with ASCP SkinPro with confidence and elevate your treatment plans. The ASCP team sourced information from a variety of clinical journals and worked with Dr. Mark Lees, author of Skin Care: Beyond the Basics and a longtime contributor to ASCP Skin Deep magazine, to bring it all together.


  • During consultation: Your client mentions a condition or ingredient allergy during the intake process and want to contraindications.
  • During skin analysis: You observe a skin condition and want to make a quick decision about the best treatment.
  • While retailing: You’re about to recommend a product for your client, but you want to confirm the contraindications and ensure the product will perform as needed. 


ASCP SkinPro uses progressive web app technology so you can save it to your phone, mobile device, or computer like an app, but it won't take up too much space. The app can recognize the device that you're using, and the instructions provided will match that device. For example, if you want to save ASCP SkinPro to your phone, log in with your phone and follow the instructions provided. Click here for instructions.

Already an ASCP member? Take a few minutes to try ASCP SkinPro here and discover your new go-to consultant!

Not yet an ASCP member? Join ASCP and get ASCP SkinPro, ASCP Career Toolkits, ASCP Skin Deep magazine, and the best professional liability insurance in the profession!

Please note: We have recently updated our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Learn more...