Know Your Moles

Melanomas either start in a mole that is already present on your skin or can begin as a new spot on your skin.  Melanomas may be only the size of a pinhead when they begin and grow larger and deeper with time.

Melanomas usually have one or more of these ABCDE signs:

Asymmetry in a mole


One half of the mole is unlike the other half.

irregular border of a mole


The border of the mole is irregular, scalloped, or poorly defined.

varied color in a mole suspected of being a melanoma


The mole is varied from area to another. There may be shades of tan and brown and black and sometimes even white, red or blue.

large diameter mole


The diameter of the mole is larger than 6 mm (as a rule), which is the same diameter of a pencil eraser.

Evolving mole


Ordinary moles do not change over time. A mole that changes in size, shape, color, or texture is a warning sign as is a mole that tingles, itches, burns, bleeds, oozes, or feels strange. Another warning sign for melanoma is a sore that does not heal. ANY changes to ANY moles in ANY way should be evaluated by a doctor immediately!