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Melanoma Warning Signs & Symptoms

 It is absolutely essential that you find melanomas at the earlier stages. Detecting a melanoma quickly can speedily increase your chances of finding a cure. 

You should always look for anything that is changing, new, or unusual in any areas of your body that are exposed to the sun, or not. 

In women, the most common place to find a melanoma is on the legs, but in men, it is usually the trunk. However, you should remember that melanoma can appear anywhere on your skin, even in areas in which the sun does not shine.  

A majority of spots, moles, and growths on the body are benign, but not every occasion is. 

Check out WithPower trials for melanoma, and stick around to learn just how you can detect a melanoma quickly! 

Melanoma ABCDE’s

You can use the first 5 letters of the alphabet to provide you with the ultimate guide to picking up on and recognizing the early warning signs of melanomas. 

A- A stands for asymmetry. This is because a majority of melanomas are not symmetrical. If you were to draw a line through its middle, the two halves would not look equal. So they are different from an oval or round mole or spot.

B- B stands for border. You see, the borders of melanoma will usually be uneven, and they will usually have scalloped, or even notched edges. A common mold will usually be smoother, and will even have borders. 

C- C stands for color. Having multiple colors is a big red flag. Benign moles will usually be a singular shade of brown. On the other hand, melanomas will usually have varying shades of brown, they may even have bits of tan, or black, and then as it grows, white, red, or even blue might start to show up.

D- D stands for diameter or darkness. It is preferable to pick up on a melanoma while it is small, a good warning sign is when it is around the size of an eraser on a pencil, so, around 6 mm, or a quarter inch, or any bigger than this. 

Some say it is also important that you keep your eyes peeled for any lesion, regardless of size which is darker than any others on your body. Although you should remember that there are rare amelanotic melanomas that are colorless.

E- E stands for evolving. If you notice any change in shape, size, color, or even just the elevation of the spot on your skin, or even any symptoms that are changing, including itching, crusting, or bleeding, this can be a warning sign. 

Simply, be aware of any warning signs and symptoms as we have noted above, you should seek help. The biggest signs are anything new, unusual, or changing on your skin is reason enough to see a dermatologist pronto.

Other Signs

Aside from the ABCDEs, you should also look out for 5 other warning signs. These are as follows;

  • The Spreading of a pigment from the border of the spot/ lesion, into the skin in the surrounding area. 

  • Changes in the sensation of the area, such as pain, itchiness, or if it is tender. 

  • Sores that do not heal. 

  • Redness/ swelling outside of the lesion border. 

  • The change in the surface of the lesion/mole, this could be bleeding, oozing, scaliness, or a lump/bump appearing. 

Be certain that you inform your doctor of any areas which are concerning you and ask them to check them. It can be difficult for even doctors to be able to tell between a normal mole and a melanoma.

‘The Ugly Duckling’. 

This is a unique strategy that can help you better recognize a potential melanoma. It comes from the idea that a typical mole on your body will resemble other moles on your body. They will usually look very similar to each other, even if they are not identical. 

Therefore, a melanoma will stick out like an ‘ugly duckling’ as it will look different to the others. 

With the ‘ugly duckling’ you aren’t just looking for irregularities, but you compare any suspicious-looking spots to the surrounding moles.

They Can Be Difficult

Melanomas can be difficult to pinpoint, they do not always follow the rules, and they will often come in many forms. This is why it is so important to see a doctor if you have any suspicions that you could be dealing with an irregular spot or mole. 

Only 20-30% will appear on an existing mole, most will arise on normal skin.

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