The ABC's of Melanoma
Melanomas are usually brown-black or multi-coloured patches with irregular outlines, but they may be pink too. They may eventually crust and bleed.
Think of them in terms of the ABCDE rule:
= Asymmetry. Melanomas are often asymmetrical, whereas moles are generally symmetrical.
= Border irregularities. Melanomas frequently have irregular, uneven borders with scalloped edging. Benign
moles usually have smooth, even borders.
= Colour variation. Common moles are usually a single shade or shades of brown and black. Melanomas are often multi-coloured, with multiple shades of brown, black, red, white, grey or blue.
= Diameter. Benign moles are usually (but not always) less than 6mm in diameter, whereas melanomas tend to be larger.
= Evolving: a lesion that is changing in size, shape, or color or a new lesion
Remember that most people develop their moles before the age of 30. A sudden development of a new expanding, irregularly pigmented/non-pigmented patch after the age of 30 should make the red lights flash.
Be aware of any ABCDE changes and as soon as you notice any, get to your dermatologist or general practitioner right away.