Although it is true that having moles is very common throughout the world, you have to know how to detect when they are undergoing strange changes in your skin.
These small and dark brown spots on your skin can appear anywhere on your body and are, for the most part, harmless.
But some moles could carry cancer.
“Changes in the appearance of a mole are cause for concern,” said Brian Gastman, a plastic surgeon.
He shared how to spot the signs of a cancerous mole.
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There are many different types of skin cancer. But melanoma is the type most often linked to moles.
A small, dark brown mole is a cluster of pigment-containing cells called melanocytes.
That’s why it’s so important to know the signs of a potentially cancerous mole.
How to spot a cancerous mole
To identify a suspicious mole, dermatologists apply the “ABCDE rule”.
These five warning signs mean you should consult your doctor:
- A: Asymmetry – The mole is asymmetrical — one half looks different from the other half.
- B: Border – The mole has a border that looks irregular, scalloped or fuzzy, instead of a well-defined edge.
- C: Color – A mole has multiple colors, including brown, black, tan, pink, red or even white and blue.
- D: Diameter – A mole is bigger than six millimeters across (roughly the size of a pencil eraser).
- E: Evolution – The mole is evolving — changing color, size or shape. “If it’s growing rapidly, bloody or crusty, sore or itchy, those are all causes for concern,” Dr. Gastman says.