Melanoma is serious, and the sooner it can be detected the easier it can be treated. Here are a few signs to look for that might indicate the need for you to get checked for melanoma:

Uneven Colors

If one or more of your moles seems to feature uneven colors, it's a good idea to get yourself checked out for melanoma. The base of your mole may be dark brown while the edges are white, or various parts of your mole may seem to be different hues of brown. If your mole is even slightly different in color from one area to another, protect yourself with a checkup. A checkup should be scheduled if you find a mole to be changing colors as time passes too. Just because your mole used to be one solid color doesn't mean that it's still safe if the colors start changing.

Jagged Edges or Asymmetrical Shapes

Another sign to look for that may indicate the need to get your mole checked for melanoma is crooked or jagged edges, as well as asymmetrical shapes. If your mole looks like is not circular in shape and has long or dramatic edges, or changes shape as time goes on, it is better to be safe than sorry by having the mole checked for melanoma. And if your mole checks out safe, your doctor can provide you with guidance and insight about what changes to look for that might indicate a change in status and the need for further checkups.

Seemingly New Growth

Another sign of melanoma is new growth of a mole no matter how long it has been there. Whether your mole is as old as you are or only a few months old, head to the doctor for a thorough melanoma checkup if you discover that the mole has grown at all. The checkup will give you some insight into the type of mole it is and what you may be able to expect from it as time goes on.

Itchiness, Pain, or Irritation

If your mole gets itchy, irritated, or painful, it's time to make an appointment for a melanoma checkup. While it's generally normal for a mole to itch once in awhile or feel irritated after doing things like shaving, your mole should never feel painful. And if the pain or itchiness is consistent or seems to happen more than it used to, there is a good reason to pick up that phone and make an appointment with your doctor.

For more information on mole removal, contact your local dermatology clinic.