Skin conditions

4 Simple Ways to Recognize a Melanoma

Emily Sakzewski
By Emily Sakzewski. Updated: January 20, 2017
4 Simple Ways to Recognize a Melanoma

Almost everyone has moles and for the most part they are harmless. However it is important to recognize changes in your mole as they can be warning signs that a melanoma may be developing.

This OneHowTo article sets out four simple ways to identify whether your mole could be a melanoma and when to consult your doctor.

If you're interested to know more about moles and why we have them, consider reading our article Why do we Have Moles on our Skin.

You may also be interested in: Why Have I suddenly Developed Freckles?

What a Common Mole Looks Like

Normal moles have an even colour of brown, tan or black spots on the skin. They can either be raised or flat, round or oval. You can be born with a mole or they can begin to appear during childhood or young adulthood. Once a mole develops, it usually stays the same size, shape a colour for years, but some fade away completely over time. New moles that appear later in life should be checked by a doctor.

4 Simple Ways to Recognize a Melanoma - What a Common Mole Looks Like

4 Ways to Recognize a Melanoma

Melanomas can manifest on the skin very differently. They can look like unusual moles, sores, lumps, blemishes, markings, or can even be an area of skin that has changed the way it looks of feels. Here are some of the identifying factors:

  1. When a new spot grows on the skin or when a spot begins to change its size, shape or colour.
  2. When a mole or spot looks or feels different from all the other spots on your skin.
  3. Use the ABCD guide to distinguish changes in your mole that may indicate a melanoma:

Asymmetry: Where one half of a mole or birthmark does not match the other

Border: The edges are irregular, ragged, notched, or blurred

Colour: The colour is not the same all over

Diameter: If the spot is larger than 6 millimetres across (although they can be smaller than this)

4. Other warning signs of melanomas include:

  • Sores that don't heal
  • When the pigment from a spot spills over into the surrounding skin
  • Redness or swelling around the edges of the spot
  • Itchiness, tenderness or pain around the spot
  • If the spot is scaly, oozing or bleeding
  • If a bump or nodule appears on the surface of the mole

We hope you have found this guide to recognizing melanomas useful. If you exhibit any of the symptoms mentioned in this article, or are unsure about any spots on your skin, you should consult your doctor. If you would like more information on skin health, consider reading our related articles:

What Causes Red Moles On Your Skin

How To Stop A Red Mole From Bleeding

How To Remove Red Moles

4 Simple Ways to Recognize a Melanoma - 4 Ways to Recognize a Melanoma

This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to 4 Simple Ways to Recognize a Melanoma, we recommend you visit our Diseases & secondary effects category.

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4 Simple Ways to Recognize a Melanoma