The ABC’s of Melanoma: How to Recognize the Symptoms


Melanoma is the most dangerous type of skin cancer, making it important to catch skin abnormalities early. When self-examining, use the ABC system to help you remember the symptoms of melanoma:

  • Asymmetrical: Check to see if one half of the area is different from the other.
  • Borders: Examine the edges of the growth carefully. The outline of a melanoma often blends into the normal skin and is not sharply defined or smooth.
  • Color: Pay close attention to color. Variation in color or the development of dark black, blue, white/gray or red areas in a preexisting mole could be concerning features.
  • Diameter: A size greater than 0.6 cm (the size of a pencil eraser) can provide a guideline for detecting melanoma. However, this is only a guideline, and many normal moles may be this large or even a bit larger.
  • Evolution: Observe the spot over a brief period of time. Does the spot continue to change?

Look carefully and self-examine often. Melanoma is the leading cause of death from skin disease and can be treated when recognized early. If any of the above symptoms are present, visit St. Bernard’s Dermatology to consult with a physician. Call 870.336.0277 to schedule your appointment.


This blog was written by Dr. Mallory Hurst, Dermatologist at St. Bernards Dermatology. Dr. Hurst completed her medical school at University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. She completed her residency in dermatology at University of Alabama at Birmingham. Dr. Hurst is accepting patients of all ages and treating every variety of dermatologic conditions. For more information, click here:

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