What to look for: ABCDEs of melanoma

Darrell Rigel, MD, explains why dermatologists created the ABCDEs of melanoma

Download the AAD's body mole map to note the results of your self-examination. Consult your dermatologist immediately if any of your moles or pigmented spots exhibit:

  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 are 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 notice a spot that is different from others, or that changes, itches or bleeds, you should make an appointment to see a dermatologist.