May is Melanoma Awareness Month
As the American Academy of Dermatology has named May the official Melanoma Awareness Month so we want to share with you The ABCDEs of Melanoma because knowledge is power, and skin cancer is highly treatable - if detected early.
An easy way to decipher if a mole on your body is normal or potentially harmful is to use the ABCDEs. This handy method from the American Academy of Dermatology will help you determine if you should schedule a screening with your local dermatologist.
An atypical mole will not be symmetrical.
When observing a mole on your skin the first thing you want to look at is its shape. Is the mole asymmetrical? Check to see if both halves look the same, if so, then chances are your mole is healthy.
An atypical mole will not have a defined border.
What does the border of your mole look like, is it smooth or irregular? Does your mole have a scalloped or poorly defined border? If so, you should schedule a screening.
An atypical mole will not be one consistent color.
Notice the color of the mole, is it all one shade or does it vary in hues of tan, brown, or black? Maybe it’s white, red or blue? A healthy spot will be one consistent color.
An atypical mole will be larger than 6mm.
The diameter of melanoma is usually greater than 6mm, or the size of a pencil eraser. However, they can be smaller. If the size concerns you, it might be time to schedule a screening.
An atypical mole will change in size and/or shape.
Is your mole evolving in size and/or shape? Keep an eye on your mole, if you notice it has changed in size or shape it’s time to schedule an appointment with a dermatologist.
Disclaimer -- *This article is to provide insight about Melanoma, not to be used for a professional diagnosis. If you or anyone you know if concerned they may have skin cancer, schedule an appointment with a dermatologist immediately. This information has been obtained by the American Academy of Dermatology and can be found at www.aad.org