Pictures of Ordinary Moles and Dysplastic Nevi

Ordinary Moles Dysplastic Nevi
Color Evenly tan or brown; all typical moles on one person tend to look similar. Mixture of tan, brown, and red/pink. A person’s moles often look quite different from one another.
Shape Round or oval, with a distinct edge that separates the mole from the rest of the skin. Have irregular, sometimes notched edges. May fade into the skin around it. The flat portion of the mole may be level with the skin.
Surface Begin as flat, smooth spots on skin (1a); may become raised (1b) and form a smooth bump (1c). May have a smooth, slightly scaly, or rough, irregular, “pebbly” appearance.
Size Usually less than 5 millimeters (about 1/4 inch) across (size of a pencil eraser). Often larger than 5 millimeters (about 1/4 inch) across and sometimes larger than 10 millimeters (about 1/2 inch).
Number Between 10 and 40 typical moles may be present on an adult’s body. May be present in large numbers (more than 100 on the same person). However, some people have only a few dysplastic nevi.
Location Usually found above the waist on sun-exposed surfaces of the body. Scalp, breasts, and buttocks rarely have normal moles. May occur anywhere on the body but most frequently on the back and areas exposed to the sun. May also appear below the waist and on the scalp, breasts, and buttocks.

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Pictures of Melanoma

Large size Most melanomas are at least 5 millimeters (about 1/4 inch) across when they are found; many are much larger. An unusually large mole may be melanoma.
Many colors A mixture of tan, brown, white, pink, red, gray, blue, and especially black in a mole suggests melanoma.
Irregular border If a mole has an edge that is irregular or notched, it may be melanoma.
Abnormal surface If a mole is scaly, flaky, oozing, or bleeding, has an open sore that does not heal, or has a hard lump in it, it may be melanoma.
Unusual sensation If a mole itches or is painful or tender, melanoma may be present.
Abnormal skin around mole If color from the mole spreads into the skin around it or if this skin becomes red or loses its color (becomes white or gray), melanoma may be present.