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MOHS Surgery Melanoma

Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that develops in the melanocytes, the cells that produce the pigment melanin. Although melanoma is not the most common form of skin cancer, it can be one of the most harmful. That’s why it’s essential to be aware of the warning signs of melanoma. Early diagnosis can greatly increase the opportunities for successful treatment.

Know Your ABCDEs

One of the best ways to detect melanoma early is to know the ABCDEs of melanoma. When looking at a skin spot or mole, look for the following:

  • A: Asymmetry, where one half of the spot doesn’t match the other;
  • B: Border irregularity, where the edges of the spot are uneven;
  • C: Color variation, where the spot has varying shades of color from one area to another
  • D: Diameter, where the spot is larger than 6mm in diameter (about the size of a pencil eraser);
  • E: Evolving, where the spot looks different from the rest or changes in size, shape, or color.

If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to see a dermatologist for an evaluation.

Other warning signs

In addition to the ABCDEs, there are other warning signs of melanoma. These include:

  • A new spot on the skin or a spot that looks different from other spots on your skin;
  • A sore that doesn’t heal;
  • A mole or spot that becomes itchy or painful;
  • A mole or spot that bleeds or oozes;
  • A mole or spot that looks scaly or crusty.


While it’s not always possible to prevent melanoma, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk. These include:

  • Avoiding tanning beds and excessive sun exposure, especially between 10 am and 5 pm;
  • Wearing protective clothing outdoors, such as a wide-brimmed hat and long-sleeved shirt and pants;
  • Applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen to all exposed skin, and reapplying every two hours;
  • Checking your skin regularly for any changes or new spots;
  • Seeing a dermatologist annually for a skin exam.

Melanoma can be treatable if spotted early. If you have any concerns about your skin, don’t hesitate to see a MOHS surgery Parker specialist. Remember, you are the best advocate for your health.

For more information, visit the American Academy of Dermatology and the Skin Cancer Foundation.

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