What is a common mole?Most adults have between 10 and 40 common moles, which are not cancerous. These moles can be on a variety of areas of the body, and are commonly found above the waist on areas that are frequently exposed to the sun. Moles are rarely found on the scalp, breast, or buttocks. Unlike melanomas, common moles are typically on the smaller side, approximately 5 millimeters. These moles are normally round or oval in shape and are symmetrical. Common moles; will be even in color and can be pink, tan, or brown. While common moles can turn into melanoma, it is rare.
Checking Your MolesWhen it comes to moles, you want to monitor them closely for any changes. You’ll want to note any changes in size, shape, color, or feel. These changes are the first signs of a possible melanoma. To make it easy, all you have to do is keep in mind the “ABCDE” rule.
- Asymmetry: Keep a close eye on the shape of your moles. Moles that are asymmetrical, meaning the shape of one half doesn’t match the other, are more likely to be melanoma.
- Border: Irregular borders are another sign of a possible melanoma. An irregular border can mean edges that are ragged or blurred.
- Color: Shades of black, brown, or tan may be present in these moles. You might also see spots of white, gray, red, pink, or even blue. Uneven color is also a sign of early melanoma.
- Diameter: Although melanomas can be small, they’re more likely to be larger than 6 millimeters in diameter. Track the size of your mole and notice any increases in size.
- Evolving: Note how quickly changes happen in your moles. Look for changes in size, shape, thickness, or color and how fast those changes took place.