Skip to main content
  • Members: Get your free at home COVID-19 tests now. Learn more: English / Spanish
  • Members who got the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine between Oct. 1, 2021 and Feb. 28, 2022 may be eligible to receive a $50 gift card! Learn more: English / Spanish
  • Important: As of May 1, 2022, Medi-Cal is available to all people who are 50 years of age or older who meet all Medi-Cal eligibility criteria. Immigration status does not matter. These changes also let people keep more property and qualify for Medi-Cal. Contact the Ventura County Human Services Agency for more information. Learn more: English / Spanish

Please select your language.

Selecciona tu idioma.

Health library

Back to health library

Checking your skin can help you spot skin cancer early. Your doctor can tell you how often to do a check.

Do you know what melanoma looks like? Learn what to look for.

 

Reviewed 4/28/2022

The ABCDEs of melanoma

Melanoma is the most deadly form of skin cancer. These ABCDEs can help you tell if you should see a doctor about a mole or a spot. Even one of these signs is a reason to see a doctor immediately.

Asymmetry: Half the mole or spot is unlike the other half.

Border: The mole or spot has an irregular, scalloped or poorly defined border.

Color: The color changes from one area of the mole or spot to another. It may have shades of tan, brown or black, or it could be white, red or blue.

Diameter: The mole or spot is larger than a pencil eraser. Melanomas are usually larger than 6 millimeters (about ¼ inch) when diagnosed. They can be smaller though.

Evolving: The mole or spot looks different from others on your body or is changing in size, shape or color.

What's your risk? There are a number of factors that can influence how likely you are to develop skin cancer.

LEARN ABOUT YOUR RISK FACTORS

Source: American Academy of Dermatology

Related stories