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Dr. Schultz's Tips & Tricks

The ABCDE Rule

A: Asymmetry—The two halves of your mole should match; if they don't, the mole may be precancerous.

B: Border—A precancerous mole often has uneven borders with scalloped or notched sides.

C: Color—Precancerous moles may be found in a variety of colors, such as shades of brown, tan and/or black. A melanoma can be red, blue, or other colors.

D: Diameter—A mole that is larger than the size of a pencil eraser is more likely to be precancerous, or it may be an early melanoma.

E: Evolving—Look for changes in the mole's shape, size, or color, as well as new symptoms such as itching or bleeding. These signs may indicate a potential precancerous mole.

See a Dermatologist

If you find a mole with any of the above traits, be sure to visit your dermatologist. If you do not have dermatologist, you can find a board-certified one in your area by using the Finder tool on AAD.org. Never try and remove moles yourself.

Melanoma is easily cured when detected early, so follow the ABCDE Rules above.

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