How to identify the moles that could be a problem

It is better (and safer) to know if you should be worried or not.

Moles can be scary. But on the other hand they can be the kind of thing that you think you had better get checked out – and then never do anything about. Either way, knowing how to identify whether or not a mole is a problem can save you a whole lot of trouble.

There are five basic factors that can tell you whether a mole needs to be checked by a professional – Asymmetry, Border, Colour, Diameter and Evolving or ABCDE for easy memorising.

Check out our guide to each of those signs below.

But as the Ministry of Health will tell you, New Zealand and Australia have the highest rates of Melanoma in the world so if there is ever any doubt, it is always better to check with a medical professional. Even just for the peace of mind.


Divide the mole in four quadrants and if it doesn’t look the same in all quadrants this is classified as asymmetrical and suspicious.


Melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers have irregular and uneven borders.


Look for two shades and remember the shades are not always black or dark brown. Melanoma can display an array of colours, including black, brown, blue, pink, purple and white.


The majority of melanomas are large (around 6mm, give or take).


This means you will see the ABCD steps in action with changes worsening over time. If you notice changes over three months or more, seek professional help immediately.

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