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Do You Know Your ABCDEs of Melanoma?

May is Melanoma Awareness Month. If you are not already performing a regular self-assessment of your skin, as well as receiving regular melanoma screenings from a dermatologist, this month should mark a new beginning in skin care health maintenance for you.

The following guide provides vital information about moles and melanoma. It focuses on what to look for when you shower, apply make-up and other products, or any other time you notice that a mole has changed.

The ABCDEs of Melanoma

Melanoma is a form of skin cancer. It either develops from an existing mole or it appears to be a mole, but is not. This is why it is critical to take care of your skin with regular self-examinations and dermatologist visits. The ABCDEs of Melanoma help you assess what is going on with all of your moles.

The ABCDEs of Melanoma stand for the points to pay attention to during a self-examination of your skin. Each letter signifies a characteristic of moles. Changes in these characteristics indicate that you should visit a dermatologist for a medical examination of the mole.


If the mole looks different from one side to the other, whether from size or the shape has morphed.


Moles that appear to have ragged, engraved, or uneven edges should motivate a visit to the dermatologist. This also holds true if the color of the mole looks like it is seeping into the skin.


Moles colors like black, brown, and tan need to be examined even though they are not unusual colors to see on the body. They could be a problem if they have appeared suddenly. Blue, gray, red, pink, and white colors in a mole also need to be examined. 


If a mole grows, especially larger than a pencil eraser, contact a dermatologist for further examination.


A mole should remain consistent over time. If you notice a change in color or size, it is time to contact a dermatologist. 

Contact Brian P. Mekelburg MD, FAAD for a Melanoma Screening

For a skin cancer prevention screening in the Los Angeles area, contact Top Los Angeles Dermatologist Brian P. Mekelburg MD, FAAD. Dr. Mekelburg provides a patient, thorough melanoma screening. He also provides information on how to protect your skin. You can visit Dr. Mekelburg’s website at to take advantage of the Secure Online Chat feature. If you prefer to speak to someone on the phone, contact us (310) 659-9075.

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