Melanoma is a deadly skin cancer that becomes especially difficult to treat after it metastasizes. Timely identification of melanoma is critical for effective therapy, but histopathologic diagnosis can frequently pose a significant challenge to this goal. Therefore, auxiliary diagnostic tools are imperative to facilitating prompt recognition of malignant lesions. Melanoma develops as result of a number of genetic mutations, with UV radiation often acting as a mutagenic risk factor. Novel methods of genetic testing have improved detection of these molecular alterations, which subsequently revealed important information for diagnosis and prognosis. Rapid detection of genetic alterations is also significant for choosing appropriate treatment and developing targeted therapies for melanoma. This review will delve into the understanding of various mutations and the implications they may pose for clinical decision making.