Blog Entry

The ABCDE's of Melanoma and When to See a Dermatologist

Finding melanoma at an early stage is crucial, and early detection can vastly increase your chances for cure. Therefore, it is important that you can identify any growths on your skin that may be harmful and worth getting checked by your dermatologist. For melanoma specifically, a simple way to remember the warning signs is to memorize the A-B-C-D-E's of melanoma. This is an acronym designed to help the public and clinicians identify features in a skin lesion that may suggest an early melanoma.   

A is for Asymmetry: One half of the spot is unlike the other half.

B is for Border: The spot has an irregular, scalloped, or poorly defined border.

C is for Color: The spot has varying colors from one area to the next, such as shades of tan, brown or black, or areas of white, red, or blue.

D is for Diameter: While melanomas are usually greater than 6 millimeters, or about the size of a pencil eraser, they can be smaller when diagnosed.

E is for Evolving: The spot looks different from the rest or is changing in size, shape, or color.

Schedule an appointment with your dermatologist if you notice changes in your skin, such as a new growth, a sore that doesn't heal, a change in an old-growth, or any of the A-B-C-D-Es of melanoma. It is highly recommended that you receive a full-body exam at least once a year with your dermatologist. Visit our website at or call (503) 905-9006 to schedule an appointment with us!


American Academy of Dermatology

Thursday December 2, 2021