Melanoma: Signs and symptoms

Melanoma: Signs and symptoms

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Anyone can get melanoma. It’s important to take time to look at the moles on your skin because this is a good way to find melanoma early. When checking your skin, you should look for the ABCDEs of melanoma.

ABCDEs of melanoma

    A = Asymmetry
One half is unlike the other half.
    B = Border
An irregular, scalloped, or poorly defined border.
    C = Color
Is varied from one area to another; has shades of tan, brown or black, or is sometimes white, red, or blue.
    D = Diameter
Melanomas usually greater than 6mm (the size of a pencil eraser) when diagnosed, but they can be smaller.
     
 
E = Evolving
A mole or skin lesion that looks different from the rest or is changing in size, shape, or color.

If you see a mole or new spot on your skin that has any of the ABCDEs, immediately make an appointment to see a dermatologist.

Signs of melanoma

The most common early signs (what you see) of melanoma are:

  • Growing mole on your skin.
  • Unusual looking mole on your skin or a mole that does not look like any other mole on your skin (the ugly duckling).
  • Non-uniform mole (has an odd shape, uneven or uncertain border, different colors).

Symptoms of melanoma

In the early stages, melanoma may not cause any symptoms (what you feel). But sometimes melanoma will:

  • Itch.
  • Bleed.
  • Feel painful.

Many melanomas have these signs and symptoms, but not all. There are different types of melanoma. One type can first appear as a brown or black streak underneath a fingernail or toenail. Melanoma also can look like a bruise that just won’t heal.

Learn more about melanoma:

Image property of the American Academy of Dermatology.

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