Moles appear on the skin and it is very important to know what each mole means. They are formed when cells in the skin grow in a cluster and they are known under the name of melanocytes. Moles can change their color, that is they can become darker due to sun exposure or if the person affected by them is a teenager or in the pregnancy period.
Sometime it is difficult to tell the difference between a mole and melanoma, and therefore you need to carefully observe each mole. If you are not sure whether you are dealing with a normal or abnormal mole, then by all means pay a visit to your doctor and point the ones that are suspicious to you.
Signs of Melanoma
The common first sign of melanoma is the change in color, size, shape, or feel of an existing mole. Melanoma may occur as a new colored area on the skin. There is an “ABCDE” rule which describes the characteristics of early melanoma (2, 5): Asymmetry.
The knowledge of this rule may save your life.
A – means ASYMMETRY
Moles which cannot cause any serious health issue are symmetrical in shape. This means that when you draw a line down the middle, both halves should look the same. On the other hand, asymmetrical moles are abnormal and need to be examined by a medical expert.
B – means BORDER
Irregular border is like when the edges of the mole are ragged, notched, or blurred in outline. In this case the pigment may spread into the surrounding skin.
C – means COLOR
The common color of moles is a brownish one, even though they can get darker or skin-colored. Moles can be smooth or rough, flat or raised, and in some there can be hairs growing from them. The usual shape of moles is circular or oval with a smooth edge.
D – means SIZE
What is the appearance of a normal mole? It can be either round or oval, flat or raised with an evenly colored brown, tan, or black spot on the skin. A normal mole is usually less than 6 millimeters (about ¼ inch) across (about the width of a pencil eraser).
E – means EVOLVING
If the mole is evolving meaning that it differs from the rest of the moles in color, shape and size, then you need to pay a visit to your doctor.