NEW YORK (PIX11) – May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month.

The most dangerous form of skin cancer is melanoma. While not the most common skin cancer, melanoma is the most dangerous because it can spread to other areas of the body and organs.

Melanoma is caused by exposure to ultraviolet light. Sunlight is the main source of UV rays. UV light is a small portion of sunlight but it is the primary cause of skin damage. That’s why experts recommend using sunblock daily, especially during the summer. It’s also a good reason to avoid tanning beds.

Dermatologists created the “ABCs” of melanoma to remind people when a mark on the skin may be something dangerous.

  • A is for asymmetry. Generally, half of the mark looks much different than the other half. 
  • B is for border. The spot has an irregular border.
  • C is for color. There are numerous colors on the spot. It’s not just all dark brown. There may be areas of white, red, yellow or blueish tint 
  • D is for diameter. They’re usually bigger than 6 millimeters (which is about the width of a pencil eraser)
  • E is for evolving. The spot looks different from the rest of the area or changes in size, shape or color.