Moles are super common and can appear pretty much anywhere on your body. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, almost every adult has a few, and those with lighter skin may even have 10 to 40 of them on their skin. However, it’s still important to be vigilant and pay close attention to any changes that you may spot. For adults, especially those over 30, new moles and transformations in existing ones can be a sign of melanoma.
“If you notice a new mole, or if you have a changing mole in size, shape, color, or feel, you should have it checked out by a board-certified dermatologist,” says Dr. Morgan Rabach, board-certified dermatologist and co-founder of LM Medical. “We also have a melanoma (cancer from a dangerous mole) at-home screening guide called the ABCDEs of melanoma.”
So keep reading to learn the ABCDEs guide that indicates how to know when it’s time to get your moles checked.
Normal moles should look the same on both halves. If one half doesn’t match the other, you may want to get it checked.
Moles should be perfectly round with clearly defined borders. If you notice that it’s shaped different or has fuzzy borders, it’s worth consulting your doctor.
Moles usually show in shades of brown, and a normal one should have the same color throughout. Any mole that has more than one color like shades of white, red, black, or blue mixed in with brown should be looked at.
According to Dr. Rabach, any mole that’s bigger than five millimeters, or the size of a pencil eraser, is something a dermatologist should look at a little closer.
Any moles that change in size, shape, or elevation should always be brought up. If you experience symptoms like bleeding, itching, or crusting, it’s important to have that checked by a doctor.
According to Dr. Rabach, people who have spent significant time outdoors, live close to the equator, have fair complexions, a family history of skin cancer, use tanning beds, and have had many blistering sunburns are at higher risk and should have a skin screening earlier.
Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, and the number of people with melanoma increases each year. The good news? It’s treatable if caught early, so pay close attention to your moles and other marks on your skin.
As always, consult your dermatologist with any questions or concerns about your skin health.
xx, The FabFitFun Team