Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer and while genetics plays a major role in its development, cumulative extensive sun exposure increases your risk. While most of us have some brown spots or growths, those that have the following characteristics should raise a red flag to call your dermatologist for a visit. It is important to check your skin monthly for the “ABCDE” signs of melanoma.
A: Asymmetry: most melanomas are asymmetric and drawing a line in the middle would not create a matching half.
B: Border Irregularity: in melanomas, the borders are often uneven and ragged, not smooth and even
C: Color Variability: melanomas often contain multiple shades of color such as red, white, blue, black, and tan
D: Diameter: Melanomas generally grow to a size greater than a pencil eraser, which is 6mm
E: Evolving: Any change in a lesion besides the former such as itching, bleeding, or crusting should raise your awareness