Sometimes it can be a difficult task to monitor your skin moles and their growth on a regular basis. This is because, some people may have a few spots here and there in their body, while some have so many that it is hard to keep the track. But nothing can be more important than your health. So it is essential to know what you have. This may be overwhelming, but you should know the difference between a mole and a melanoma.
Before discussing what melanoma is and how to evaluate it, we should understand what mole is and how it can be change into a melanoma . A mole is basically a brown, tan or black spot on the skin. Moles can be less than 6 millimetres, they can be a birth mark or they can appear later. If they appear later, one should get them checked by a doctor. Moles are generally harmless, but the changes in a mole must be recognised. The shape, size or colour of a mole can be changed and can transform into a melanoma (the unusual change in an existing mole is known as melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer).
Signs and symptoms of a melanoma:
If you have a new spot on your skin, and if any spot is changing shape, size or colour abnormally, it can be a symptom of melanoma. Another sign of melanoma is, the spot is completely different from the other spots of your body. They are known as ugly duckling signs. If the ugly duckling signs are visible on your body, you should it checked by a doctor.
The ABCDE system is the most important system that can guide you in the evaluation of a skin cancer. ABCDE stands for –
A for Asymmetry
B for Border
C for Colour
D for Diameter and
E for Evolution
If you have any mole in your body that exhibits at least one of these attributes, you should evaluate by a dermatologist as soon as possible. Below is the ABCDE in details that will help you to evaluate your skin moles easily.
A (Asymmetrical) – The look of the asymmetrical moles are not same throughout. If you find one-half of your mole looks different from the other half, you can consult a dermatologist since it is regarded as asymmetrical.
B (Border) – The outside edge of the moles is referred as the border. The border of a normal mole should never be hazy, irregular or scalloped in any way. They should be well demarcated.
C (Colour) – The colour of a normal mole can be brown, tan, red or even blue. Whatever the colour of the mole is, it should not vary. You should go to the doctor if the colour of the mole changes.
D (Diameter) – In order to know your mole, you should check the diameter (the size of the mole from one side to other across the middle). The size of the mole (big or small) does not decide whether it is good or bad. But if the size of the mole is changing, it is something that you should worry about.
E (Evolution) – It is the most important stage to self-diagnose your skin cancer. Evaluate it properly if the lesions are changing, getting bigger, darker, lighter, bloody, itchy or crusty.
ABCDE rules can guide you greatly in your self-skin examination. If you find anything unnatural in your ABCDE system, you should see a dermatologist without wasting time.