Do you know your mole ABCDEs?

Do you know your mole ABCDEs?

Have you ever noticed a mole on your body and wondered if you should get it checked out?

A normal mole is usually even-colored and is brown, tan or black, according to Molly Ireland, a nurse practitioner at Aurora BayCare Medical Center.

Moles can be flat, raised, round or oval. Ireland says it is important to get a mole checked out if it is a new spot or a spot that is changing in size, shape or color.

“Other signs to look out for are sores that do not heal, are bleeding, itching, or are painful. Utilize the help of family and friends to monitor spots on your back or areas that are not easy to see yourself,” Ireland says.

Ireland says an easy way to determine if a mole is concerning is by using ABCDE:

  • A is for Asymmetry: One half of the mole does not look like the other
  • B is for Border: Watch out for edges that are irregular
  • C is for Color: Pay attention to a mole that is not the same color throughout
  • D is for Diameter: Look out for a spot that is greater than 6 mm in size (about the size of a pencil eraser)
  • E is for Evolving: Monitor a spot that is changing in color, size, or shape

If you are ever concerned about a mole, get it checked out, Ireland says.

Annual physical exams with your primary care provider are a great opportunity to bring up concerns about skin,” she says.

Are you trying to find a dermatologist? Look here if you live in IllinoisLook here if you live in Wisconsin.

Related Posts



  1. Gloria Picchetti September 8, 2021 at 1:01 pm · Reply

    Getting a mole examined and getting a biopsy and having it removed is so simple!

  2. Very good article. Make sure you get a dermatologist who is certified with the MOHS procedure if your biopsy comes back positive.

  3. My friend was diagnosed with melanoma completely accidentally. Her mole was round, with regular borders, the same color, normal size and was not changing for years. Basically, none of the ABCDE criteria was met. Nonetheless, melanoma. So make annual appointment with your dermatologists.

  4. I was diagnosed with a melanoma several years ago. My dermatologist did not notice it, my GYN did. It was on my knee. It was very small, uniform in color, and had regular borders. It looked like a dot made with a black marker. The black color was what made it suspicious. I went back had it removed by my dermatologist and it was melanoma. I then scheduled a surgical resection with a plastic surgeon. The margins came back negative. Don’t wait, if something is suspicious have it removed.

  5. I have a red circular mark on my breast that I have had 5 weeks now. Lotromin creme will not remove it

  6. It’s a very great article, I read this blog, and find very informative for me. Thanks for sharing this informative knowledge about the subject.

  7. I was diagnosed with Desmoplastic Melanoma 13 years ago. It was a spot on my back looked like a light brown raised area that several dermatologists had looked at over the years saying it was nothing. Finally had it removed for cosmetic reasons. The dermatologist was absolutely floored when it came back as malignant melanoma. Luckily this cancer had a low mytotic or growth rate and sentinel nodes clear. It was caused by tanning and specifically tanning beds. My oncologist said they are the cause of a lot of melanoma. I was lucky. Cancer free for 13 years.

  8. Great article, but it’s not just moles that lead to Melanoma. I’ve had six Melanoma surgeries on my scalp, with the last one requiring a full-thickness skin graft from my groin area. These were not moles, but there was discoloration that lead first to squamous cell, then later to Melanoma.
    I probably would have needed more surgeries and skin grafts, but I switched to a dermatology oncologist team that used immunotherapy to eliminate several other suspicious areas. I’ve had no problems in the past two years, and I get regular skin exams.
    For people with moles, there are products that photograph the entire body, and and “AI” program alerts your dermatologist of suspicious spots. These photographs also provide a great baseline that can be compared from year to year to locate changes.

Subscribe to health enews newsletter

About the Author

health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.