The ABCDEs of Identifying Moles and Melanoma

MolesMelanoma is a type of skin cancer that develops from melanocytes. If not detected early on, it can be life-threatening. The American Academy of Dermatology reports that around 1 in 27 men and 1 in 40 women may get melanoma at some point in their lives. One of the ways that melanoma manages to sneak past many people is by appearing as a mole in its initial stages

Moles can come in many shapes, sizes, and colors. They are common skin growths made up of melanocytes, causing them to pigment the skin. In most cases, moles are benign and are not cause for concern, but sometimes they can become melanoma. Using the ABCDE rule, one can determine if a mole is potentially melanoma and requires treatment.

What Is the ABCDE Rule?

The ABCDE rule is a tool used to help identify melanoma. If you notice the following signs, it’s important to visit a dermatologist right away:

  • Asymmetry: When looking at the mole, the two halves do not match
  • Border Irregularity: The edges of the mole appear blurred or uneven.
  • Color: It’s varying shades of color or an unusual color (i.e., blue or red).
  • Diameter: The mole is larger than 6 millimeters.
  • Evolution: It has changed since you first noticed it, in either size, shape, or color.

It’s not always possible to identify melanoma using these signs, but it can help to look for some of these features. Furthermore, if you have a mole that starts to itch, bleed, or leak out puss, you should visit a doctor right away.

What Are the Characteristics of a Normal Mole?

Healthy and benign moles are typically smaller than 5 millimeters and take on a round, oval-like shape. Unlike melanoma, which does not appear uniform, the mole’s edges will be smooth and even. They also are generally pink, tan, or brown in color.

Contact American Dermatology Associates Inc. Today

If you’re concerned about a mole on your skin, visit American Dermatology Associates Inc. Dr. Jennifer Trent and her team of professionals are happy to provide you with compassionate care and high-quality treatments. Schedule a consultation at (941) 379-6647 to treat your moles in Sarasota, FL.

Posted in: Skin Cancer

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