Everyone knows (or should know) the ABCs of melanoma but it may be time to expand the learning.
A: Asymmetry (if one half does not look like the other half if it is divided)
B: Border (irregular borders with arms projected out or notches inward)
C: Color (when multiple colors are present)
D: Diameter (bigger than a pencil eraser or 6 mm)
E: Elevation (is palpable)
But there is more!
A: Amelanotic (or without color change or skin color. Some melanomas do not exhibit any pigment)
B: Bleeding (moles that bleed easily or repeatedly)
C: Color blending (when colors smudge together)
D: Duckling (as in the ugly duckling – the one mole that stands out because it is different than the other moles)
E: Evolving or changing
F: Foot or Finger (meaning on distal extremities, referred to as acral, which include nails, palms, and soles)
G: Geometric (moles that are squares, rectangles, or triangles in shape)
H: Head and Hair (scalp and other hairy areas will hide melanomas)
I: Indurated (feels or becomes firm to the touch)
Melanoma is a very serious type of skin cancer that can advance rapidly. However, when detected early, it can be treated. The ABCDEFG guidelines have proven successful in identifying potential melanoma, as well as other forms of skin cancer, such as pigmented squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma.
If you have a skin lesion with ABCDEFG criteria, it is important to see a dermatologist quickly. Call our office today at (913) 469-1115 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Kaplan and the team at Adult and Pediatric Dermatology.