Boots WebMD Partners in Health
Return To Boots

Melanoma health centre

Skin cancer (melanoma) - What are the symptoms of melanoma?

BMJ Group Medical Reference

The two main symptoms of melanoma are changes in moles that you already have and new moles on your skin.

See your doctor as soon as you can if a mole:[4]

  • Changes shape or size

  • Changes colour

  • Feels different (rougher or scalier than before)

  • Hurts or itches

  • Oozes fluid or pus

  • Crusts over

  • Bleeds

  • Becomes red or inflamed.

If you're a woman you're most likely to get a melanoma on your legs. If you're a man you're most likely to get a melanoma on your chest or back.[14] But these are just the most common places that melanomas appear. When you check your skin you should examine your whole body.

If you are at all worried about a mole, see your doctor as soon as you can.


How to check your skin

You should check the moles on your body regularly to see if they have changed.

When you're checking your moles:[10]

  • Make sure the light in the room is good

  • Check every part of your body. Try to use a system. For example, you might check the left side of your body first and then the right. And then check your back

  • Ask a friend or relative to check your back and other parts of your body that are hard-to-see

  • Use a comb or hairdryer to check your scalp. You may need a friend to help you with this

  • Don't forget to check your buttocks and genitals

  • Use a full-length mirror and a hand-held mirror if you can't find someone to help you check the hard-to-see parts of your body.


For references related to Skin cancer (melanoma) click here.
Last Updated: January 07, 2011
This information does not replace medical advice.  If you are concerned you might have a medical problem please ask your Boots pharmacy team in your local Boots store, or see your doctor.
Next Article:

Healthy skin newsletter

Skin care tips and treatment options
Sign Up

WebMD Video: Now Playing

Skin cancer signs

Melanoma is an increasing problem. See what it looks like and how to treat it.

Popular Slideshows & Tools on Boots WebMD

woman looking at pregnancy test
Early pregnancy symptoms
donut on plate
The truth about sugar addiction
woman holding hair
Natural help for dry or damaged hair
woman in bikini
Get ready for swimsuit season
hand extinguishing cigarette
13 best tips to stop smoking
Immune-boosting foods
The role of diet
18 secrets men want you to know
boy looking at broccoli
Quick tips for feeding picky eaters
hamburger and fries
A guide for beginners
salmon dinner
A diet to boost your mood & energy
polka dot dress on hangar
Lose weight without dieting