The ABCDE’s of Melanoma Screening

The ABCDE’s of Melanoma Screening

Most often, the first sign of melanoma is a changing mole. Be sure to check your moles at least once yearly for any changes, and even consider photo-documenting them for any changes. We highly recommend annual skin-checks with your dermatologist, particularly if you are at high risk of developing melanoma.

Look for the following when you look at your moles:


(A) Asymmetry: The shape of one half does not match the other half.

(B) Border that is irregular: The edges are often ragged, notched, or blurred in outline. The pigment may spread into the surrounding skin.

(C) Color that is uneven: Shades of black, brown, and tan may be present. Areas of white, gray, red, pink, or blue may also be seen.

(D) Diameter: There is a change in size, usually an increase. Melanomas can be tiny, but most are larger than the size of a pea (larger than 6 millimeters or about 1/4 inch).

(E) Evolving: The mole has changed over the past few weeks or months.