The ABCDEs of Melanoma

comparison of skin abnormalities

What am I looking for when I check my skin?

A is for asymmetry – meaning if you were to draw a line across the middle on the lesion and the 2 halves don’t match.

B is for border – melanomas tend to have uneven, hazy, or notched borders.

C is for color – varying shade of brown or black or other colors like red, white or blue can be seen in a melanoma – most normal benign moles usually have one or two shades of brown.

D is for diameter or dark – some melanomas at the time of diagnosis are greater than 6 mms (the size of a pencil eraser) but some may be smaller and darker when compared to other normal moles.

E is for evolving – any change in size, shape or color or a symptom like itch, pain or bleeding may be a warning sign of a melanoma.

The Ugly Duckling is another warning sign of melanoma. Look for a mole that stands out and does not look like your other moles. These ugly duckling lesions can be larger, smaller, lighter, or darker, compared to surrounding moles. Alternatively, they can be isolated on the skin without any surrounding moles for comparison. 

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends patients with a history of melanoma perform self skin exams monthly and visit a dermatologist every 6 months for a full body skin examination. Schedule your skin exam now by calling 215.361.337 or email us to request a convenient appointment time


ABC’s of Detecting Melanoma


DE of evaluating for melanoma

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