top of page

Moles and Melanoma Danger Signs

Finding melanoma early is the key to achieving a cure. Learn the ABCDE mnemonic for recognizing moles and growths that might be cancerous. 
If  a mole or growth has one or more of the ABCDEs, you should show it to your physician as soon as possible!

Asymmetry can be assessed by comparing one half of the growth to the other half to determine if the halves are equal in size. Unequal or asymmetric moles are suspicious.


If the mole's border is irregular, notched, scalloped, or indistinct, it is more likely to be cancerous (or precancerous) and is thus suspicious.

Variation of color (e.g., more than one color or shade) within a mole is a suspicious finding. Different shades of browns, blues, reds, whites, and blacks are all concerning.

Any mole that has a diameter larger than a pencil's eraser in size (> 6 mm) should be considered suspicious.

If a mole is elevated, or raised from of the skin, it should be considered suspicious.

Other Danger Signs of Malignant Melanoma
• Change in color, especially multiple shades of dark brown or black; red, white and blue,
• Change or spreading of color from the edge of the mole into surrounding skin.
• Change in size, especially sudden or continuous enlargement.
• Change in shape, especially development of irregular margins or border.
• Change in elevation, especially sudden elevation of a previously flat mole.
• Change in the surface texture of a mole, especially scaliness, erosion, oozing, crusting, ulceration, or bleeding.
• Change in the the surrounding skin, especially redness, swelling, or new moles.
• Change in sensation, especially itching, tenderness, or pain.

All moles and growths that are CHANGING need to be evaluated.

Evaluation of moles according to clinical exam at Stein Dermatology in San Diego, La Messa. Dr. Stein is a Board-certified Dermatologist.
Suspicious Moles being evaluated and diagnosed at Stein Dermatology in San Diego, La Messa
Screenshot 2023-08-17 at 11.23.55 PM.png
bottom of page