In today's society we are more and more aware of our skin's health and the influences from the sun. Even though moles are actually more common than we realize with most adults having at least one, this is where the danger can begin.
Mole's are common growths that appear on the skin and mostly on fair skinned people and are brown and black in color. They occur when melanocytes skin cells are produced in a cluster instead of across the skin. Even though most moles are harmless, there is a type of skin cancer, melanoma that can grow in or near a mole. Therefore there couldn't be anything more important to know than the signs and symptoms of a malignant mole.
If caught early it can be treated and cured. Therefore I can not stress the importance of checking the size, color and shape of your moles on a regular bases. With the information below you will know exactly what the signs are and what to look out for.
1. Watch out for asymmetry
Photo cred - www.webmd.com
Moles are often symmetrical, meaning if you were to fold them in half both sides would match. Therefore an asymmetrical mole is often a warning sign for melanoma.
2. Watch out for the color
They are most commonly all one color and are either brown, red or black. Be especially weary of moles that are made up of a mixture of colors such as tan, black, red, white or blue.
3. Watch out for uneven borders
The borders of early melanoma tend to be uneven. The edges may be scalloped, notched or not clearly defined.
4. Watch out for diameter size
Melanomas moles are usually larger than 1/4 inch or 6mm, but they may be smaller when first detected.
5. Watch out for evolving moles
Be weary of changes in size, color and shape, as an evolve or change may be again a warning sign of melanoma.
6. Watch out for a wound that doesn't heal
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If you have a mole resembling a wound or even a mole that has opened and won't heal this is a very strong sign that something might be wrong.
7. Watch out for a change in sensation
If a mole becomes painful, itchy or irritated then you have definite warning signs to be checked out further.
As we all know very well prevention is always better than cure, therefore here are some melanoma preventing tips to reduce your chances.
1. Protect your skin from the sun and seek shade whenever possible
2. Limit exposure to UV rays, therefore avoid using tanning beds and lamps
3. Protect from an early age
4. Apply SPF 15 at least on a regular bases, even on the face during winter
All information above is sourced and based from Scientific findings. It is based on the ABCD acronym, introduced in 1985 and expanded to ABCDE in 2004. This acronym represents an analytical method for the evaluation of melanocytic lesions that clinicians and the general public can use to help detect melanoma early.