Checking Your Moles: Remember the ABCDE Rule
Moles are a common type of skin growth, typically appearing as small, dark brown spots caused by clusters of pigmented cells. Generally, moles appear during childhood and adolescence. Most people have over 10-40 moles, some of which may change in appearance or disappear over time.
Most moles are harmless and rarely become cancerous. However, Dr. Thanh Nguyen, a renowned plastic surgeon, recommends regular mole monitoring. Monitoring your moles and other pigmented patches is a highly vital step in detecting skin cancer.
The ABCDE Rule
When checking your moles, remember the ABCDE Rule:
- A is for Asymmetry.
If you draw a line down the middle of the mole, the two halves do not match.
- B is for Border.
The edges or border of the mole is ragged, irregular, blurred, or smudgy.
- C is for Color.
The color of the mole is not uniform and may include shades of black or brown, and even patches of white, red, pink, or blue.
- D is for Diameter.
The diameter of the mole is more than ¼ inch across (the typical size of a pencil eraser). Note: Melanomas can be smaller than this.
- E is for Evolving.
The mole appears different from others and/or is changing in color, shape, or size. Note: This is highly important. Any changing or new moles should be checked.
Mole Check: Who Should Do It and How Often Should It Be Done
Experts suggest that everyone should check their moles at least every three months. However, if you have a close relative with melanoma or if you have suddenly developed new moles, you should check your body at least once a month.
As a premier provider of reconstructive surgery in Westminster California, we offer diagnostic services to thoroughly check your moles. When necessary, we can perform mole excision to provide you with peace of mind.