Moles are common. Almost everyone has a few and some people develop hundreds. Individuals with light skin tend to have more moles. The most important thing to know about moles is that melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer, can develop in or near a mole. There are many types of moles which is why it is important to have regular skin exams to determine whether your moles are malignant or benign. When examining your moles, look for the ABCDE’s of melanoma detection.

A: Stands for asymmetry. One half unlike the other half.
B: Stands for border. Irregular, scalloped or poorly defined border.
C: Stands for color. Varied from one area to another; shades of tan and brown, black; sometimes white, red or blue.
D: Stands for diameter. While melanomas are usually greater than 6mm (the size of a pencil eraser) when diagnosed they can be smaller.
E: Stands for evolving; a mole or skin lesion that looks different from the rest or is changing in size, shape or color.

If a mole seems worrisome, displays one of more of the ABCDE’s or is new and looks unusual, promptly make an appointment to see Dr. Richterich, Dr. Vazquez, Cassandra Wren, PA-C or Amanda Weinman, PA-C right away.