What Does Melanoma Look Like?

Find out what melanoma looks like from board-certified dermatologist Ahmet Altiner in this Howcast video.


Recognizing melanoma is one of the most difficult things a dermatologist needs to do. ABCDE are a quick way to remember how to look for a melanoma. A, stands for asymmetry. Most small moles are symmetric and round. Most melanomas are not. So if you notice a mole that has an irregular pattern at the edge that is not symmetric, that is a suspicious case for melanoma. B is for borders. Most nevi have very sharp borders, unlike melanoma where the pigments, the color bleeds into the normal tissue. That is also a concerning sign for a melanoma.

C stands for color. Multiple colors including shades of brown, black, white, red and blue are suspicious for a melanoma. D stands for diameter. Any mole larger than six millimeters that is new, needs to be evaluated by a dermatologist to rule out a melanoma, and E stands for evolving. Any changing moles or new moles should be examined by a dermatologist.

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