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What does ABCDE and skin cancer mean to a dermatologist?

March 31st, 2016 | Uncategorized

When performing a physical examination of a mole, Dr. Nakatsui, a board certified dermatologist, is looking for certain features in a mole.  Among other features, Dr. Nakatsui is looking for the ABCDEs in a mole.
A – Asymmetry:  Unhealthy moles tend to be irregular in shape or non-circular.
B – Border:  Problematic moles will have irregular, uneven borders.
C – Colour: Healthy moles are generally uniform in colour.  Worrisome moles can contain multiple colours such as reds, blues, browns, whites, and even very dark moles can be worrisome.
D – Diameter: Worrisome moles are usually larger than 6mm in size, typically the size of a pencil eraser.
E – Evolving: When a mole begins to change it’s size, shape, colour, or begins to bleed, it is time to get it checked out.
Dr. Nakatsui strongly believes that having a yearly mole evaluation is an important part in your skin health.  In the interim, doing a monthly self evaluation is extremely beneficial.  Having a friend or family member assess your back is the best thing for those hard to see areas.  Taking photos every month of your moles with a ruler beside the mole can also help determine if there are any changes in a mole.
When in doubt, check it out!