Signs of Skin Cancer Moles

September 30th, 2015

moleIn various different cultures, a mole can be a very attractive feature. Even Hollywood uses the term beauty mark as a euphemism for a dark facial mole. Various stars and prominent figures sport these beauty marks with such pride that other people go to great lengths (even as far as getting fake moles) just to be in style.

A Blessing and Curse

Albeit being considered a beauty, not all moles are a blessing. Let me correct myself, some of the skin features we consider as moles aren’t what they seem to be. Some of these “moles’ are actually signs of melanoma or skin cancer.

No need to panic though. There are relatively easy ways to see the signs of skin cancer moles. Here are some of the basic tests to know whether you have a cancerous mole or not. This test is called the ABCDE of melanoma. Every letter stands for a specific test that can tell you whether you have a skin cancer mole or not.

  • Asymmetry – Most moles are more or less symmetrical in shape. More often than not, they are circular in form so you can clearly see if they are symmetrical or not. Melanomas are asymmetrical meaning they clearly have two different halves and it has an irregular shape.
  • Border – A normal mole has a fairly clear border. A melanoma usually has a notched or irregular border that makes it look like a poorly drawn map.
  • Color – A regular mole has a fairly consistent color all over. Meaning it should be black, brown, or tan all over. A melanoma has color aberrations all over. It has brown on one part, while other parts contain patches of black or tan.
  • Diameter – A melanoma is usually bigger than 6mm in diameter which is around the size of a pencil eraser. Most normal moles are smaller than this save those moles that are larger than usual.
  • Evolving – Normal moles stay the same throughout the years but melanomas grow in size, change in shape and color within a small time frame.

What to Do With Skin Cancer Moles

If you find that you have a mole that passed any of the tests mentioned above, don’t panic. It doesn’t mean you are doomed. The best part about this is that you have detected it early. In a nutshell, you should look for a mole that shows the following signs:

  • It’s getting bigger
  • It changes shape
  • It changes color
  • It becomes crusty or it bleeds
  • It’s itchy and painful

Most cases of skin cancer moles or melanomas have all these signs and symptoms, but not all. There are different kinds of melanomas so you should make sure that you contact a dermatologist in Sarasota, Bradenton, or Lakewood Ranch when you see any of the signs. Note that when detected early, there is still a way to address skin cancer moles.