5 Subtle Mole Changes That Might Be Signaling Something Worse
An average person has about 30-40 moles on their body. Luckily, there’s no connection between the number of moles and melanoma. But it’s the characteristics of the moles we should pay close attention to. Regular self-examination can help you spot anything that is suspicious in time to get professional help and prevent any serious consequences.
Bright Side outlined the basic concepts of the popular ABCDE rule that can help you recognize any possible mole changes at an early stage. And as a bonus, you’ll find another diagnostic technique that improves the accuracy of the ABCDE approach.
A is for Asymmetry
Asymmetry may be a sign that something is wrong with the mole. A normal mole should be symmetrical, meaning that both of its halves should look the same. They should match each other in size, color, and shape. If you draw an imaginary line from the middle of the mole, you should see 2 matching parts.
B is for Border
Benign moles usually have smooth and well-defined borders, while with malignant ones you’re likely to see irregular and uneven borders. The edges can be ragged or blurred and can gradually disappear into the surrounding skin.
C is for Color
Having many colors in the mole can be a disturbing sign since healthy moles are supposed to be one color (usually brown). If the mole consists of different shades of brown, black, red, white, or blue, it could be a red flag that it’s time to see a dermatologist.
D is for Diameter
It’s important to pay attention to the mole’s size: if it’s larger than 6 millimeters (about ¼ inch), it can be a warning sign. Some melanomas can be smaller than this at the early stage. So it’s better to pay close attention to the other signs and to not come to conclusions that are only based on one characteristic.
E is for Evolving
Keep an eye on how your mole changes over time. There may be some differences in size, shape, or color. Its texture can change when a benign mole turns into a melanoma. If you notice any changes or new symptoms like pain, swelling, or itching, don’t postpone your visit to the doctor.
Bonus: The “Ugly Duckling Sign”
The “Ugly Duckling Sign” is an alternative approach to detecting malignancy that can be combined with the ABCDE rule for a better way to self-diagnose. According to this concept, it’s essential to not only check moles to see if they match the criteria of the normal ones, but to compare them with the other moles on the body. The moles that look the most different from the others, are most likely the ones that could be malignant.
Do you know of any other signs that people should be aware of? Share them with our community in the comments below.