What to Look For

Everyone’s skin is different. We each have a unique constellation of birthmarks, moles, and freckles across our bodies. Fortunately, melanoma frequently has its own tell-tale signs – here’s what to look for on yourself and those you love.

Learn more about melanoma subtypes.

MRA ABCs Graphic2ABCDEs of Melanoma:

Look for moles or growths that are asymmetrical, have an irregular border, exhibit changes in color, have a diameter larger than the size of a pencil eraser, or have evolved in size or thickness. If you notice one or more of these signs, see your healthcare provider.

Ugly Duckling:

Another easy to remember maxim is to look for the ‘ugly duckling’ on your skin. An ugly duckling is any mole that doesn’t look like the rest of the moles on your body. For many people this is easier to remember than the ABCDE criteria – with similar results.

If you notice any of these signs – or see what might be an ugly duckling – see your healthcare provider as soon as possible.

In children and young adults, melanoma frequently does not always have the same distinctive dark coloration seen among adults. Instead, pediatric melanoma may appear as a pink, yellowish, or even white bump or wart-like lesion. If you see something concerning – speak to your doctor as soon as possible.