Skin Cancer Screening: Identifying Possible Signs of Melanoma

Generally, dermatologists recommend having a full-body skin cancer screening once a year. This is especially important if you have a medical or family history that puts you at a higher risk of developing skin cancer or if you spend a great deal of time outdoors.

It’s especially important to visit your dermatologist if you have a mole or a spot concerning you. But how can you tell if a spot is a mole or melanoma? Here are some signs you can look for to identify the difference between melanoma and a common mole.

The ABCDE Rule

The ABCDE rule is a tool for helping to identify signs of melanoma when it can be mistaken for moles. It stands for:

  • Asymmetrical: When you look at the spot, does the one half appear the same as the other half? An asymmetrical spot may be a sign of melanoma.
  • Border: Is the border of the spot irregular or scalloped?
  • Color: Moles tend to be one color throughout the area. Is the spot several different shades, such as brown or black, or even red or blue? If so, then it could be a possible indication of melanoma.
  • Diameter: Melanoma spots are usually 6 mm (millimeters) or larger. However, if any of the other criteria fits the description of the spot, but it’s smaller than 6 mm, it’s best to schedule a skin cancer screening.
  • Evolving: If the spot continues to change and evolve in size, shape, or color, this could be a sign of melanoma.

If you notice any of these signs, be sure to schedule an appointment for a skin cancer screening right away.

What Does a Normal Mole Look Like?

A healthy, regular mole typically is 5 mm wide or smaller, is round or ovular, and is symmetrical with smooth edges. They’re generally pink, tan, brown, and even in color.

Many people are concerned that a health mole can turn into melanoma. Rest assured that moles rarely develop into melanoma.

As a general rule, wear an SPF of 30 or above to prevent melanoma development.

Schedule Your Skin Cancer Screening Today

With a new year comes the time to schedule your annual appointments. Schedule your yearly skin cancer screening with the Bucay Center for Dermatology and Aesthetics. Dr. Vivian Bucay, Dr. Rachna Bhandari, and Dr. Talia Noorily are among the top dermatologists in San Antonio. Furthermore, Dr. Bucay has also personally experienced stage IV melanoma and understands the challenges and emotional struggle that come with this diagnosis. She can provide you with expert-level care and support through your treatment.

Schedule an appointment today at 210-692-3000 or submit a contact form online.

Schedule A Consultation



01. Get to know Dr. Bucay, Dr. Bhandari and Dr. Noorily.

02. Help her understand you and your goals.

03. Learn about our services and specialties.

“Very comfortable environment, all staff very were very professional, and Dr. Bucay was a delight. She is an artist with the skills and compassion that focus specifically on the clients needs. Dr. Bucay is amazing.”

–Jorie K.


* All indicated fields must be completed.

Accessibility Toolbar

Se habla espanol!

Talia Noorily MD

A Message from Dr. Bucay: Champions for Change Gala

This year I am honored to join the committee for the Champions for Change Gala, taking place on May 10, 2023 at Ziegfield Ballroom in NYC.

Champions for Change Gala
Scroll to Top