A normal mole is an oval and evenly colored tan, brown, or black spot on your skin. A mole can be either flat or raised. When you are born, some moles can appear, but moles begin to show during your childhood or young adulthood. Once a mole has developed, it will usually stay the same shape, color, and size. There are chances that the mole will fade away.
It is very important to be aware of the moles you have. If you notice a difference in shape, color, and size, there is a chance that melanoma may be developing.
There is an easy guide, known as the ABCDE rule, to spot the signs of melanoma. Be aware and contact your doctor about spots that have any of the following feature:
- A is for Asymmetry: One half of a mole or birthmark does not match the other.
- B is for Border: The edges are irregular, ragged, notched, or blurred.
- C is for Color: Color is not the same all over and may include different shades of brown or black, or sometimes with patches of pink, red, white, or blue.
- D is for Diameter: The spot is larger than 6 millimeters across which is approximately the size of a pencil eraser.
- E is for Evolving: The mole is changing size, shape, or color.
Some melanomas may not fit the ABCDE rule. It is very important to contact your dermatologist about any changes or new spots on the skin, or growths that may look out of the ordinary.