Identify skin cancer yourself: You can use the ABCDE rule to find questionable birthmarks on the skin
Harmless mole or already skin cancer? Laypeople can usually hardly tell the difference. But with a simple rule of thumb using the letters ABCDE, you can do the check yourself.
Who wants to run to the doctor if there is actually no acute problem? This is the case for many people, which is why visits for skin cancer screening are often put off forever.
you can also do an initial check at home to identify problematic skin areas. The letters stand for:
- A = asymmetry
- B = boundary
- C = Color
- D = diameter
- E = grandeur
Admittedly, the “C” was a little tricked into the English term. Nevertheless, the rule helps with early detection. Here you can find out what you need to pay more attention to.
ABCDE check: skin cancer or harmless?
Go from A to E to assess skin changes such as moles or birthmarks.
If the spots are irregular instead of round or oval, then that’s a bad sign.
Harmless pigment spots are clearly defined and smooth. Problematic areas therefore appear rather washed out or jagged.
This is where the assessment becomes a bit more difficult. Check if the color is consistent or varies. Look for pink or gray discoloration.
If the skin change is larger than five millimeters, you should consult a family doctor.
Feel how high the spot rises above the rest of the skin’s surface. If it protrudes noticeably and is more than a millimeter high, this is a sign of skin cancer.
It is best to perform the ABCDE check in broad daylight. If you like, you can also use a small magnifying glass to get a better look at the skin areas.
You will of course need help for spots on the back, because examining the moles in a mirror will be difficult. As always, a self-diagnosis should only provide initial clues – you should always leave the final assessment to a dermatologist.
Fortunately, health insurance companies cover the costs for skin cancer check-ups from the age of 35 – even every two years.