Malignant melanoma comes in many shapes and sizes. This can make it difficult to know what to look for when identifying possible melanomas on your skin. That’s why having images to use as reference is a good way to understand what you’re looking at. While most moles are non-cancerous or benign, any new or changing moles are cause for suspicion. Take a look at these examples of malignant melanomas below to help you identify cancerous spots on your skin, and contact a doctor immediately if you notice anything suspicious.
But first, your ABCDEs
Before getting started, read through the ABCDE method, a dermatologist-recommended tool for identifying potentially at-risk moles. While most melanomas can be identified using the ABCDE method, not all fall within these symptoms.
Melanoma lesions are often irregular, or not symmetrical, in shape. Benign moles are usually symmetrical.
B – Border
Typically, non-cancerous moles have smooth, even borders. Melanoma lesions usually have irregular borders that are difficult to define.
C – Color
The presence of more than one color (blue, black, brown, tan, etc.) or the uneven distribution of color can sometimes be a warning sign of melanoma. Benign moles are usually a single shade of brown or tan.
D – Diameter
Melanoma lesions are often greater than 6 millimeters in diameter (approximately the size of a pencil eraser).
E – Evolution
The evolution of your mole(s) is the most important factor to consider when it comes to diagnosing a melanoma. Knowing what is normal for YOU could save your life. If a mole has gone through recent changes in color and/or size, bring it to the attention of a dermatologist immediately.
It should be noted that these images are by no means exhaustive: they don’t cover all of the forms malignant melanoma can take. With that in mind, they should only be used as a reference point. Paying attention to changes in your skin over time is the best way to catch skin cancer early. Any suspicious marks should be immediately checked out by your doctor or dermatologist.
Want to see more images? View more here: Melanoma pictures