Advertisement

When can an atypical mole become serious?

If you have an atypical mole you should know that it may be a sign of melanoma, a type of skin cancer. Keep in mind the ABCDEs of melanoma:

  • Asymmetry of the color within the mole
  • Borders that are irregular
  • Color that is particularly dark
  • Diameter greater than 6mm (size of a pencil eraser)
  • Evolution(change) over time
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

People who have atypical moles are at increased risk for developing a type of skin cancer called melanoma. The risk for skin cancer is greater if you have many atypical moles and you have two or more close relatives who have had melanoma.

An atypical mole is a small tan or brown growth on the skin that's usually less than a half inch in diameter. Atypical moles are irregularly shaped, unlike common moles, which are round. See a doctor if you have unexplained growths on your skin.

Continue Learning about Skin Care

5 Winter Skin Savers
5 Winter Skin Savers
The winter weather outside might be frightful, but your skin can stay delightful. That’s right! Say goodbye to chapped lips and dry, cracked skin. We’...
Read More
Why shouldn't I put petroleum jelly on my lips?
Dr. Michael Roizen, MDDr. Michael Roizen, MD
Don't put Vaseline on your lips. Vaseline is made from the goop that comes from oil drills (petroleu...
More Answers
7 Expert-Approved Skin Care Secrets to Live By
7 Expert-Approved Skin Care Secrets to Live By7 Expert-Approved Skin Care Secrets to Live By7 Expert-Approved Skin Care Secrets to Live By7 Expert-Approved Skin Care Secrets to Live By
Take better care of your skin with these quick lessons from a dermatologist.
Start Slideshow
Does Indulging In Chocolate, Junk Food, and Fatty Meals Cause Acne?
Does Indulging In Chocolate, Junk Food, and Fatty Meals Cause Acne?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.