2.1 Signs and symptoms

2.1 Signs and symptoms

A skin lesion exhibiting features that match one or more of the ABCDE criteria should be investigated:

  • asymmetry
  • border irregularity
  • colour
  • diameter of the skin lesion
  • evolving and/or the following:
  • itching, scaling, bleeding, oozing, swelling or pain in a skin lesion
  • new lesions, lesions noted to be changing or lesions that do not heal or respond to treatment
  • a rapidly growing skin lesion persistent after one month
  • spread of pigment from a lesion to the surrounding tissue.

The presence of multiple signs and symptoms, particularly in combination with other underlying risk factors, indicates an increased risk of melanoma.

Note: A small percentage of cases present as a symmetrical, often non-pigmented nodule that grows progressively for over a month (EFG: elevated, firm and growing progressively; Kelly et al. 2003). These are invasive from the outset and grow more quickly (over weeks to months), with elevation, deeper invasion and earlier onset of bleeding and ulceration.

2.1.1 Timeframe for general practitioner consultation

Presenting symptoms should be promptly and clinically triaged with a general practitioner.