Spots suspected of skin cancer in photos

Self-monitoring of the skin promotes early detection of lesions caused by skin cancer. Do you know the ABCDE rule? Zoom on the suspicious spots in photos that should prompt you to consult a dermatologist.

[Mise à jour le 13 juin 2022 à 16h01] 100,000 new cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in France each year. Unlike other cancers, that of the skin can be identified with the naked eye, just looking at each other. The National Syndicate of Dermatologists and Venereologists (SNDV) recommends a self-examination at least three times a year. For this self-examination, it’s easy, only one rule to know: the ABCDE. This rule, which is based on the observation of moles and skin spots, makes it possible to diagnose melanoma, the most serious of skin cancers, in advance. “Any change in the shape, color or size of a mole should be a warning sign” explains the SNDV. We must carefully observe his bare skin from head to toe, front and back, without forgetting the inconspicuous areas where can hide a melanoma (ears, nails, soles of the feet, spaces between the fingers, genitals…).

skin cancer spots mole ABCDE
© League Against Cancer

A for Asymmetry: Mole of shape neither round nor oval, whose colors and reliefs are not regularly distributed around the center.

B as Border : the edges of the mole become irregular, poorly defined, the pigmentation sometimes even invading the skin.

C like Coloring : the color of the mole loses its homogeneity, depigmented areas appear, even gray, red or blue spots.

D as Diameter : the size of the mole increases (melanoma is usually larger than 6 mm).

E for Evolution (thickening, extension): the lesion has a certain thickness above the skin that it did not have before. There is a rapid change in size, shape, color or thickness.

The manifestation of one or more of these signs does not necessarily mean the presence of melanoma, but justifies seeking medical advice without waiting. The Prevention and awareness week for targeted skin cancer screeningwhich takes place this week from June 12 to 17, 2022, the SNDV returns to the fact that we are not all equal in the face of the sun and recalls the actions that can save your skin.


  • The number of skin cancers tripled between 1980 and 2012.
  • Carcinomas are the most common, especially after age 50, and are generally easily curable.
  • melanoma is rarer but the most serious of skin cancers because of its high metastatic potential.
  • 15,404 people had melanoma in 2017, 1,783 died from it.
  • 80% of melanomas develop on healthy skin as a spot that looks like a mole.

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