Your ABCDEs are warning signs and indications for atypical moles and melanoma skin cancers.
Regular monitoring is crucial so if you develop anything suspicious, it can be detected and treated as early as possible. Moles, brown spots and growths on the skin are usually harmless — but not always. The first signs can appear in one or more atypical moles. That’s why it’s so important to get to know your skin and to recognize any changes in the moles on your body.
Look for the ABCDE signs of melanoma, and if you see one or more, make an appointment with a doctor immediately.
A – ASYMMETRY
Moles that have an asymmetrical appearance. If you draw a line through a mole and the two halves do not match, this is a sign of an asymmetrical mole and a warning sign for melanoma.
B – BORDER
A benign mole has smooth, even borders, unlike melanomas. The borders of an early melanoma tend to be uneven and the edges may be blurry or jagged.
C – COLOUR
Most benign moles are all one colour — often a single shade of brown. Having a variety of colour or a number of different shades of brown, tan or black is another warning signal.
Benign moles usually have a smaller diameter than malignant ones. Melanomas usually are larger in diameter than a pencil eraser (¼ inch or 6mm), but they may sometimes be smaller when first detected.
E – EVOLUTION
Common, benign moles look the same over time. Be on the alert when a mole starts to evolve or change in any way. Any change — in size, shape, colour, elevation, or any new symptom such as bleeding, itching or crusting — points to danger.