Health Tip: Suspicious Moles

A mark of beauty or cancer?

(HealthDay News) -- At one time, a mole in a certain spot on the cheek of a woman was considered fashionable. Some were even painted on. These were called "beauty marks."

But not all moles are beautiful. Some are quite dangerous because they can develop into a deadly form of skin cancer known as melanoma.

Recognizing the early warning signs of melanoma is important. The American Academy of Dermatology urges people with moles to remember the ABCD's of melanoma when examining them:

  • A stands for ASYMMETRY, when one half of the mole doesn't match the other half.
  • B stands for BORDER, when the border or edges of the mole are ragged, blurred, or irregular.
  • C stands for COLOR, when the color of the mole is not the same throughout, or if it has shades of tan, brown, black, red, white, or blue.
  • D stands for DIAMETER, when the diameter of a mole is larger than 6mm, about the size of a pencil eraser.

If you have one or more moles that exhibit any of these characteristics, see a dermatologist as soon as possible.

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