Diagnosing a melanoma is one of the biggest challenges for a dermatologist as well as for patients.
A simple A, B, C, D, E rule can help you remember how to spot a melanoma.
A is asymmetric. Most moles are round and symmetric. Most melanomas are not. So, if you see a new mole or changing mole that shows that one side of it is darker, has fuzzier borders it's important to get that checked.
B is for borders. Most normal nevi, or moles, have sharp borders. You can draw a perfect line around it. Most melanomas do not. Most melanomas have irregular borders where there's bleeding of the pigment into the normal skin.
C is color. Multiple colors, especially more than two colors within a mole is very suspicious for a melanoma. Brown, shades of brown, black, white, red can all be seen within a melanoma and it should be checked.
D is diameter. Recent studies have shown that moles that are greater than six millimeter should be examined to make sure it's not melanoma.
Most melanomas when caught early can be easily treated. So it's important to get any of these moles with these symptoms to get checked.