Carolinas HealthCare System

Melanoma may first appear as changes in an existing mole; however, it can also arise as a new mole. Think ABCDE:

  • Asymmetry: One half of the mole does not match the other half.
  • Border: The edges are not even, but rather ragged or irregular.
  • Color: The color is not uniform; instead, you may see shades of black, brown, tan, white, gray, red, pink or blue.
  • Diameter: The mole is larger than a pencil eraser, 6 mm or about a quarter inch.
  • Evolving: The mole has changed over the past few weeks or months.

If you have a suspect mole or any new suspicious spots the size of a pencil eraser, make sure to visit your healthcare provider. Some melanomas will have most or all of the characteristics listed above, while others may be more subtle. Your provider can help determine if your mole is a concern.