(HealthDay News) — People with darker skin are about one-third more likely to have acral pigmented lesions on their palms and soles, according to a study published online December 14 in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Jennifer Stein, MD, PhD, an associate professor in the department of dermatology at the NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City, and colleagues evaluated the palms and soles of 1052 patients seen at dermatology clinics in New York City and Miami. The researchers detected 391 acral pigmented lesions on palms and 278 on soles.

The lesions were found on 30% of white patients and 40% of those with darker skin. The researchers also found that 44% of patients with the darkest skin had the lesions, compared with 28% of those with the lightest skin. Only 54% of patients with these lesions on their palms and 43% who had them on their soles knew they had them.

“Acral pigmented lesions have not been well studied in people with darker skin. In rare cases, an unusual lesion like this can be an aggressive melanoma,” Stein said in a news release from the NYU Langone Medical Center. “Awareness of skin cancer risks in this group supports educational outreach to people of color, including attention to dermatologic evaluation, as well as self-monitoring.”

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