Is It Just A Mole Or Melanoma?

mole melanomaSpots and dots, being a freckled-faced person I am no stranger to beauty marks, but understanding the difference between unique beauty features, and dangerous moles can be difficult, yet still important. Our bodies can have a strange way of expressing themselves, and often times (unbeknownst to us) moles are your bodies way of letting know something serious is going on.

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A true beauty mark is with us since birth, but as we age we can develop marks and spots on our body that could mean anything or nothing. There is an old wives tale that suggests that raised moles are the ones to worry about. Well according to New York-based dermatologist, Neal Schultz, this is just that, a tale. According to Dr. Schultz,”It’s usually the flat moles that get into trouble. Raised moles are intradermal moles, or compound moles, and they have a much lower rate of malignant degeneration. Flat moles are where most of the cases of melanoma come from.”

When looking to see if your mole is healthy or not, just turn to your ABC’s:

A is for Asymmetry: Is one half of the mole the same same and shape as the other half? If not, you may want to a doctor to look at it

B is for Border: Are the border or edges of the mole smooth or jagged and bumpy?  If they are not smooth, another cause for concern.

C is for Color: Is the mole one color or multiple colors?  The more colors in one mole is enough reason to look further into it.

D is for Diameter: If the size of the mole is bigger than the size of a pencil’s eraser, then pay attention to other signs and find out what your physician thinks of it