A change on the skin, change to an existing mole or the development of a new mole are the most common signs or symptoms of melanoma. Keep in mind, tumors can also occur where no moles are present.
Melanomas can develop anywhere on your body, but most often develop in areas that have had exposure to the sun, such as the back, legs, arms and face. Melanomas can also occur in areas that don't receive much sun exposure, such as the soles of the feet, palms of the hands and on fingernail beds. These hidden melanomas are more common in people with darker skin.
Because not all melanoma skin cancers look alike, providers suggest the ABCDE guideline when examining the skin. Here’s how it works:
Other suspicious changes in a mole may include scaliness, itching, spreading of pigment from the mole into the surrounding skin, oozing or bleeding.
Malignant, or cancerous, moles can differ in appearance. For this reason, if you discover any suspicious skin changes or moles, it’s vitally important to contact your healthcare provider immediately.