What to watch for
You should conduct regular self-examinations, taking note of all moles and monitoring for any changes in size, colour or symmetry:
Asymmetry: Unlike common moles, atypical moles are often asymmetrical: a line drawn through the middle would not create matching halves.
Border: While common moles usually have regular, sharp, well-defined borders, the borders of atypical moles tend to be irregular and gradually fade into the surrounding skin.
Color: Common moles are most often uniformly tan, brown or flesh-colored. Atypical moles have varied, irregular color with subtle areas of tan, brown, dark brown, red, blue or black.
Diameter: Atypical moles are generally larger than 6 mm, but may be smaller.
Evolution: Enlargement of or any other notable change in a previously stable mole, or the appearance of a new mole after age 40, should raise suspicion.