(Last Updated On: 10/05/2018)

You’re not a hypochondriac if you fear that an itching, bleeding mole might be melanoma rather than benign.

For this article I consulted with Dr. Rebecca Tung, MD, director of the dermatology division at Loyola University Health System, Chicago.

Dr. Tung explains, “While people are familiar with the ABCD’s of mole evaluation–Asymmetry (one half of the mole does not resemble the other half), Border irregularity (jagged or scalloped), Color changes (the mole has gained or lost pigmentation), Diameter growing (growth in size) — the E factor (evolving), which encompasses itching, bleeding and any other change, can also signal skin cancer.

“Seeing a dermatologist can help determine what is going on with the mole in question. Sometimes people may shave or traumatize a benign mole, leading to symptoms of bleeding and itching; however, an evaluation will help to shed light on whether the mole is harmless or requires a skin biopsy to make certain it is not cancerous.”