The A/B/C/D/E’s of Melanoma have been used for years to help patients and providers alike to identify lesions concerning for melanoma.
When you look your body over once a month, please notice anything that is new, changing, or growing. Also, if any of your lesions fulfill ANY of the ABCDE criteria listed below, make an appointment with your dermatologist as soon as possible. Looking yourself over in the mirror once a month is the most important step to finding a bad spot before it has a chance to hurt you. As with most things, the earlier the diagnosis, and the sooner an appropriate treatment occurs, the less likely any health problem will adversely affect your health.
“Looking yourself over in the mirror once a month is the most important step to finding a bad spot before it has a chance to hurt you.”
A/Asymmetry: We want one half of a mole or lesion to look like the other half. Moles should be symmetric. If not, this is concerning.
B/Borders: We want to be able to clearly tell where a mole starts and where a mole stops. If you can’t really decide where a mole stops or starts, that is concerning.
C/Color: We like the color to be uniform throughout. We do not like the color to be black. Our preferred color is a nice even brown.
D/Diameter: We’d like them to be small. They say less than the diameter of a pencil eraser. So a lesion that’s bigger than 6mm should be examined.
E/Evolution: E is what you need to remember!! It is absolutely the most important factor. E represents an area that is evolving or changing. We want moles to stay the same. We want them to be the same for 20, 30, 50, 60 years. If a mole starts to change, you must come in to see your local dermatologist as soon as reasonably possible to get it evaluated.