5 Signs Your Mole Is Not Normal

May 25, 2017
By: Jackie Burns Brisman | skincare.com by L'Oréal
5 Signs Your Mole Is Not Normal

As this summer nears its end, we hope you’ve been heeding our advice about sunscreen, but we know that it’s near impossible not to get a little darker during all that summer fun outdoors. Still, the fact remains, any tan, no matter how subtle, is skin damage. If you have moles, extended periods of time spent outdoors may have you looking at them a little more carefully. If you aren’t sure if your mole looks normal, it’s time to schedule a visit with your dermatologist. While you wait for your appointment, read this. We chatted with board-certified dermatologist, and Skincare.com consultant, Dr. Dhaval Bhanusali, to discover the five signs your mole is not normal.

The signs of an abnormal mole all go back to the ABCDE’s of Melanoma, Bhanusali explains. Here’s a quick refresh: 

  • A stands for Asymmetry (Is your mole the same on both sides or different?)
  • B stands for Border (Is the border of your mole irregular?)
  • C stands for Color (Is your mole brown or red, white, or splotchy?)
  • D stands for Diameter (Is your mole greater than the size of a pencil eraser?)
  • E stands for Evolving (Is your mole suddenly itchy? Raised? A different shape or size?)

If you answered yes to any of the above, it’s time to visit the dermatologist to get it checked, because these are the signs your mole is not normal.

To monitor your moles at home between visits to the dermatologist, Bhanusali recommends this “little derm-hack,” as he calls it. “We live in the social media generation, where people take pictures of dogs, cats, food, trees, etc. If you see a mole you are worried about, take a picture. Set a timer on your phone to take another photo in 30 days,” he says. “If you see ANY change, go see a dermatologist! Even if it looks fine, having contextual appreciation for a mole can help the dermatologist." If you’ve never had a skin check and aren’t sure what to expect, we answer all of your burning questions about full-body skin checks, here.

While May is Melanoma Awareness Month, skin cancers—like melanoma—can strike all year round. This is why, we at Skincare.com are constantly singing the praises of broad-spectrum sunscreen. Not only does it protect you from the dangerous effects of UVA and UVB rays, sunscreen is the only proven way to ward off the signs of premature skin aging. If you don’t already, start wearing broad-spectrum SPF of 30 or more every day—even when you’re just in the office. Here are some of our favorite sunscreens for the job!

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