While benign moles are usually a single shade of brown, a melanoma may have different shades of brown, tan or black. As it grows, the colors red, white or blue may also appear. D is for Diameter and Dark.
How can you tell if a mole is benign?
Distinguishing benign moles from melanoma
- Asymmetry: the sides of the mole or growth don’t match.
- Border: the edges are ragged, notched, or blurred.
- Color: the color within the mole or growth varies.
- Diameter: the mole or growth is larger than 6 millimeters (size of a pencil eraser).
What does a harmless mole look like?
“Moles should appear symmetrical and round, with clearly-defined borders. They may be flat or raised, but should be smaller than a pencil eraser (6 millimeters).
Can benign moles be raised?
Types of benign moles
The most common types of benign mole include: Compound melanocytic nevi, which are usually raised above the skin, light brown and sometimes hairy. Dermal melanocytic nevi, which are usually raised, pale and sometimes hairy.
What is a normal looking mole?
A normal mole is usually an evenly colored brown, tan, or black spot on the skin. It can be either flat or raised. It can be round or oval. Moles are generally less than 6 millimeters (about ¼ inch) across (about the width of a pencil eraser).
What does Stage 1 melanoma look like?
Stage I melanoma is no more than 1.0 millimeter thick (about the size of a sharpened pencil point), with or without an ulceration (broken skin). There is no evidence that Stage I melanoma has spread to the lymph tissues, lymph nodes, or body organs.
Is melanoma raised or flat?
The most common type of melanoma usually appears as a flat or barely raised lesion with irregular edges and different colours. Fifty per cent of these melanomas occur in preexisting moles.
What does a concerning mole look like?
Melanoma borders tend to be uneven and may have scalloped or notched edges, while common moles tend to have smoother, more even borders. C is for Color. Multiple colors are a warning sign. While benign moles are usually a single shade of brown, a melanoma may have different shades of brown, tan or black.
Can a benign mole turn cancerous?
A benign mole can sometimes develop into skin cancer. Skin cancer arising from a benign mole is malignant melanoma, which is a very dangerous type of skin cancer that can be fatal if not treated early. The best way to survive malignant melanoma is to diagnose and treat it early.
Are moles that stick out cancerous?
Just because a mole is, well, ugly, doesn’t mean it’s cancerous. However, most normal moles on the body look alike. “Any mole that sticks out among the others on your body in any way, is an Ugly Duckling and should be examined further,” says Dr. McNeill.
Can benign moles hurt?
Moles, or melanocytic nevi, can sometimes be painful even if nothing is wrong. In some cases, a normal benign mole will have a pimple forming directly beneath it, which can get temporarily stuck. This can cause more pain and take longer to clear up than a normal pimple because it can’t easily travel to the surface.
When should a mole be checked out?
If you have any moles that are larger than most, have smudgy or irregular edges, are uneven in colour or have some pinkness, you should see a doctor and get them checked. Any moles that appear newly in adulthood should be checked. The most concerning sign, however, is a changing mole.
Is it a skin tag or mole?
Most moles are harmless and don’t cause pain or other symptoms unless you rub them or they bump against something. Skin tags are small, soft pieces of skin that stick out on a thin stem. They most often appear on the neck, armpits, upper trunk, and body folds. The cause of skin tags is not known.
Can a doctor tell if a mole is cancerous just by looking at it?
A visual check of your skin only finds moles that may be cancer. It can’t tell you for sure that you have it. The only way to diagnose the condition is with a test called a biopsy.