Moles & melanomas – know your ugly ducklings and your a b c…

Okay, perhaps you’ve been to a skin clinic for a check up, but for some of us it could be months or years before we remember to book in a follow up.  So in the meantime why not get into the habit of checking yourself?


THINK A – B – C – D & E!

A  is for asymmetry, or a shape that isn’t round.

B is for border.  Watch out for… one that is notched, uneven or a bit indistinct.

You can see both A & B in this rather large & evil looking one.  But many will start out smaller.

D is dimension.  Anything greater than about 6mm (about the size of a pencil top eraser) is worth having checked out

E is evolution.  An odd looking wart which has been odd for as long as you can remember is probably nothing to worry about.  But one which has changed quite a lot in a few weeks or months is definitely worth screening.

And now for the ugly duckling bit…

The ABCDE thing is quite a good way of screening for  the most common slow growing melanomas which take a long time to develop before they become life threatening.

But in the USA they also use the so-called ‘UGLY DUCKLING’ rule to pick up on those faster growing melanomas which might pass the ABCDE test but still be dangerous.  For example, a large growth, but just in one colour.   Look in the mirror, and see if any of the warts seem to stand out from the crowd.  If they do, get them checked out sooner than later.

Use your smart phone and take advantage of your partner!

No, I’m still talking about moles here!!

If you want to take it to the next level, why not use your smart phone or tablet to take a photos?  Then you’ll have an accurate way of telling if something has really changed over the months or if you’re just imagining it.  Having a partner is, of course, to do everything we’ve talked about above, but for the bit you can’t really see – you’re back.

Posted in Adults