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Doctor insights on: Freckles Vs Melanoma

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How to tell the difference between freckles and melanoma ?

How to tell the difference between freckles and melanoma ?

ABCD's: Remember your abcd's when thinking of melanoma. Look for moles with asymmetry boarders that are irregular color differences within the same mole diameter greater than 6mm also any new mole or old that starts to itch, bleed or ulcerate should be of concern. Another rule is the ugly duckling rule. Which refers to a mole that looks distantly different from the others on your body. ...Read more

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Freckle (Definition)

A freckle is a small brown spot on your skin, caused by sun exposure. Use your abcde's to tell the difference between a freckle and skin cancer. A=asymmetry. B=border [irregular]. C=color [irregular]. D=diameter [larger than a pencil eraser]. E=evolving [change in color, size, height, new symptoms like bleeding, itching or crusting]. These are danger signs that ...Read more


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The dermatologist removed a large dark freckle yesterday and told me he doesn't think it's melanoma but does think it has abnormal cells? Meaning?

The dermatologist removed a large dark freckle yesterday and told me he doesn't think it's melanoma but does think it has abnormal cells? Meaning?

Abnormal Mole?: The answer to your question will be provided by the Pathologist after he has looked at the biopsy of the freckly that was taken by the dermatologist. Be sure to get hold of this report and tell us what it says. There are abnormal moles called dysplastic(meaning abnormal cells short of a melanoma) but they can only be seen under the microscope/yet can be suspected which is what dermatologist meant. ...Read more

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I have what looks like a freckel in my scalp a liitle more orange looking abiut 3mm by 3mm flat, I am having it checked in two weeks, melanoma?

I have what looks like a freckel in my scalp a liitle more orange looking abiut 3mm by 3mm flat, I am having it checked in two weeks, melanoma?

Probably not: This is probably not melanoma but it is good that you are having it checked out particularly if it is new or if you think it has changed. Any lesion that is a-asymmetric, b- has irregular borders, c- has color variation, or d- looks different (is changing) should be considered suspicious. ...Read more

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I've read that using melanotan can cause existing moles to darken/new moles or freckles to develop. Am I increasing my risk of melanoma?

I've read that using melanotan can cause existing moles to darken/new moles or freckles to develop. Am I increasing my risk of melanoma?

Melanotan: You can read about Melanotan at https://www.dermnetnz.org/topics/melanotan-ii. It is too soon to know whether this drug increases the risk of melanoma. The main thing is to keep your skin protected from skin exposure and to be vigilant regarding your skin lesions with regular self examinations and checks by your doctor ...Read more

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I have a tiny light colored freckle between my toes. Are freckles located here always concerning for melanoma even if they are small and not dark?

I have a tiny light colored freckle between my toes.  Are freckles located here always concerning for melanoma even if they are small and not dark?

Watch it close...: Sometimes, it's just a freckle. A sudden change in color, size of texture should certainly cause you to have it evaluated. But remember, sometimes it's jut a freckle. If you have reason to suspect otherwise, there's no problem with having a dermatologist do a quick check. But sometimes, it's just a freckle. ...Read more

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I just noticed a freckle on the bottom of my foot that was not there before. How do I know if it is plantar melanoma?

I just noticed a freckle on the bottom of my foot that was not there before.  How do I know if it is plantar melanoma?

See your doctor: While this might be something very benign, it is important that you see your doctor with something that is very new or changed in appearance. You might need a biopsy to determine what it is, and appropriate care started. Some skin lesions can get worse quickly (such as melanoma). Get it looked at! ...Read more

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A freckle on my breast appeared 1.5 yrs ago. It was black & very round. Just noticed its now brown & MIGHT have possibly changed shape very slightly. Its remained flat. How likely is it melanoma? If it is, does flat mean it hasnt become invasive yet?

A freckle on my breast appeared 1.5 yrs ago. It was black & very round. Just noticed its now brown & MIGHT have possibly changed shape very slightly. Its remained flat. How likely is it melanoma? If it is, does flat mean it hasnt become invasive yet?

See MD now!: Trying to guess whether a "freckle" is malignant or not from a description rather than an examination is sheer "Tomfoolery". See a MD ASAP, preferably a Dermatologist who sees skin lesions frequently and can make that determination. ...Read more

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How am i supposed to know if a mole or a freckle is just that or in fact signs of melanoma cancer?

How am i supposed to know if a mole or a freckle is just that or in fact signs of melanoma cancer?

When in doubt - eval: American academy of dermatology: asymmetry: 1 half is unlike the other. Border: irregular, scalloped or poorly defined. Color: varied with shades of tan, brown or black; or white, red or blue. Diameter: > 6 mm. Evolving: mole /skin lesion looks different from the rest or is changing in size, shape or color. An irregular mole that itches, bleeds or is painful is worrisome for possible cancer. ...Read more

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What is melanoma?

What is melanoma?

Skin cancer: Melanoma is a cancer that develops in the melanocytes, pigmented cells of the outer layer of skin. While it is related to sun and uv radiation, it is possible to get melanoma in areas that receive minimal sun exposure. Melanoma is generally considered the most dangerous form of skin cancer, more likely to metastasize than the more common basal or squamous cell cancers. ...Read more

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What is a melanoma?

What is a melanoma?

A type of skin cance: Melanoma is a type of skin cancer that arises from the pigmented cells (melanocytes) in the skin. In general, it is more malignant than the other two common skin cancer types (basal cell and squamous cell), but early melanoma has a good prognosis. Look online for the abcde for diagnosing melanoma. If you have a suspicious mole - have it checked out by a deramatologist. It could save your life! ...Read more

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How is melanoma diagnosed?

How is melanoma diagnosed?

Learn your ABCD's: Definitive diagnosis is made by biopsy. Melanomas are screened by the abcd's: a-asymmetry; b-irregular borders; c-different colors; d-diameber >6mm (size of pencil eraser). If you notice a mole with these characteristics, get it checked out asap. If you have a skin lesion which is growing, ulcerating, bleeding, or otherwise changing, get it seen as well for evaluation and possible biopsy. ...Read more

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What exactly is a melanoma?

Cancer of melanocyte: Melanoma is cancer of melanocytes. Melanocytes are cells that produce the dark pigment, melanin, which is responsible for the color of skin. These cells predominantly occur in skin, but are also found in other parts of the body, including the bowel and the eye (see uveal melanoma). Melanoma can originate in any part of the body that contains melanocytes. ...Read more

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Is melanoma hereditary? How?

IN A SENSE: A positive family history of melanoma is a risk factor. So is hair-blonde or red-color and eye-blue or green-color, which of course you inherit. The biggest risk factor, though, is sun exposure. ...Read more

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Who is at risk for melanoma?

White people in sun: Sun damage can lead to melanoma and people with fair skin sustain more injury from the sun more rapidly than their darker skinned counterparts. Sun protection from a young age is very important. You can read more at www.Melanomafoundation.Org. ...Read more

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How do you diagnose melanoma?

Biopsy: Any suspicious looking skin lesion, esp if it grows fast or changes in color or starts bleeing, needs to be biopsied. It will reveal melanoma if present. ...Read more

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Can melanoma pop up suddenly?

Yes: Any change whether it be size or color or texture of a pigmented skin lesion is suspect for melanoma. You should get anything that changes checked even if it is something that changed suddenly. ...Read more

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How do I know I have melanoma?

Get checked!: Any suspicious lesion should be evaluated by a plastic surgeon or a dermatologist. A biopsy will give you a definitive answer regarding if it is a skin cancer, a pre-malignant lesion, or a benign lesion. ...Read more

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Dr. Mike Bowman
952 doctors shared insights

Skin Cancer (Definition)

A condition in which some element of your skin--which is one of the most complex organs in the body--degenerates into cancer. The three most common types of skin cancer are: basal cell, squamous cell, and melanoma which occur in that order and degree of aggressiveness. Although heredity plays a major role, sun exposure and tobacco use and ...Read more


Dr. Travis Kidner
2,629 doctors shared insights

Melanoma (Definition)

Cancer of the melanocyte cells. Melanocyte cells determine the color of your skin. Although these cells are primarily found in your skin, they can also be found in the bowel ...Read more