First off, it’s important to state that skin cancer does not only appear in moles. Although moles are a common place for skin cancer to be seen – unusual sores, lumps, blemishes, markings, or changes in the way an area of the skin looks can also be an indication that something is not right.
So whenever you see changes to the skin appear and you feel uncomfortable, go and see your doctor to take a closer look.
Flat or raised moles?
Now when we zoom in to moles, there can be a lot of confusion on how a normal mole is supposed to look. Normal moles can either be flat or raised. That in itself is not a definite symptom of skin cancer. But…. When a mole has always been flat and now has changed and became raised, that would be a sign that something is going on.
Next to that, there are other symptoms to be aware of. You can remember the ABCDE-model and self-check as a first step when you don’t trust a certain mole.
The ABCDE checklist:
Dermatologists identify melanoma symptoms using the ABCDE method. This method shows you which signs to look out for when examining suspicious moles, spots or growths on your skin.
- Asymmetrical – Melanomas are distinctly asymmetrical
- Border – melanomas have uneven borders
- Colours – melanomas will contain at least two distinct colours
- Diameter – melanomas are bigger than ¼ inch across
- Enlargement – melanomas grow in size over time
The evolution of your mole(s) has become 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.
Read more: ABCDE Melanoma self check
So as a rule of thumb, changing moles are the most important to keep a close eye on. In that case, it does not matter is they are flat or raised – when change occurs, either one of them can be considered risky. Make sure to regularly perform self-checks so you can identify changing moles.