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Look For the "Ugly Duckling" Mole

Look For the "Ugly Duckling" Mole

File this one under – "If it works for specialists it can work for you."

A recent study found that looking for the "ugly duckling sign" in moles was a reliable way to identify malignant melanoma, aka skin cancer. The ugly duckling moles are those moles that don't follow the pattern of a person's moles; these stick out in their difference in pigmentation. Unlike the age-old fable, these ugly ducklings do not turn into swans.

If you have a mole with different coloring from your other moles, go and see a dermatologist! You should have your skin screened regularly, starting at age 30. The earlier a problem is detected the better!

"One of theses things is not like the other. One of these things just doesn't belong."


Join The Conversation
leeluvfashion leeluvfashion 9 years
^ I meant my doctor found one I COULDN'T see on my own. I forgot the n't after could.
leeluvfashion leeluvfashion 9 years
I had 2 "beauty marks" and a raised mole removed in August '07. They turned out to be okay and non-cancerous however never assume that it's okay on your own; always get them checked! My family has a history of types of cancer so I always scan my moles to make sure they look okay and I also have my doctor examine my marks/moles every physical I have; she found one that I could see on my own; it also came back cancer free however you have to get it removed. I have many flat moles and a few raised (my mom passed that mole gene down to me,lol.) so I always check them.
sheena sheena 9 years
The way that we've learned to assess moles in nursing is to follow the mnemonic ABCD Asymmetry- both sides should match Border- The edges of the mole should be well defined, not jagged or blurred Colour- Should be uniform in colour. A warning sign is if it has different mixed shades of brown, black, tan, red, white, or blue Diameter- should be less than 6mm Then there are other warning signs like bleeding, oozing, itchiness, pain, and surface changes. Basically from my textbook :)
caryatid caryatid 9 years
i'm sorry javsmav. my mom has had two malignant melanomas removed this year (probably due to tan beds - she only has gone probably 5 times in her 50 years) and i had one (benign, thankfully) mole removed from my back last summer. the scar is a small price to pay. please girls, get yourselves into a dermatologist and encourage your loved ones to do the same!!!
javsmav javsmav 9 years
Yeah, I was diagnosed with skin cancer last year. Early detection is so key--don't ignore anything suspicious. Even though everyone from my (doctor) boyfriend to my general practitioner to my dermatologist said it was unlikely to be cancer, the biopsy said otherwise.
Spectra Spectra 9 years
All of my moles are small, brown and flat. None of them are suspicious looking, but I keep my eye on them all the time to make sure they don't change or anything. I do have one skin-tag on my neck though...I really should have it removed, I suppose.
plasticapple plasticapple 9 years
I have one on my head that I want to get checked out and even if it's safe, I still want to get it removed. It's in such an awkward spot.
ilanac13 ilanac13 9 years
everytime i see things like this i get nervous. it's like i'm always keeping tabs on my moles and sometimes i feel like there are new ones - but they don't look irregular. i should probably go to the dr one of these days though.
hottpink hottpink 9 years
Soniabonya- My hubby has 2 moles on his back that and I have been begging him for at least 2 years to get them checked! I am really worried about one of them but he just won't go! I am almost to the point of telling him we are going to lunch and then drive him to the dermatologist!
kiddylnd kiddylnd 9 years
soniabonya - once Fit had on actial photos of 'good' moles and 'bad' moles and that's what sent me over the edge to get it looked at. I freaked because the 'bad' ones resembled mine more than anything! Show the BF this: and maybe he'll see the light.
Soniabonya Soniabonya 9 years
i got this huge birth mark on my back that seems to have grown. can't really tell since i can't see my back too much, but i really hate birth marks that are risen off the skin. i had one removed back in middle school beccause it was irritating. got a nice scare under the boob. luckily it wasn't cancerous, but my father recently was diagnosed with skin cancer on his nose. maybe i should go get checked out. i slather on the sunblock all the time but every now and then i do get burned. i'm always arguing with my boyfriend to put on sunblock but he doesn't (it gives him pimples. i'd rather him be at pimply then have skin cancer!). i'm already afraid of some of the moles on his back and shoulders because they look different than before. how can i convince him to see a doctor about them?
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
Maybe one day i should book an apoointment with a dermo and get checked over...
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
I can't stress enough how important this is.
kiddylnd kiddylnd 9 years
I just had a mole biopsy not too long ago. The doc was fairly sure it looked like it may have been scratched as it developed and that is what caused the odd shape and discoloration but wanted to make sure. It came out clean but I'm still glad I did it. I don't even care about the funky circle scar I have on my shoulder since I know it came from doing good. Funny too, as the mole came back inside (the doc said it was a possibility).
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