The "Ugly Duckling Sign"

The "Ugly Duckling Sign"
Posted on 05/07/2018


Are you aware that more than 87,000 cases of melanoma were diagnosed in the US in 2017? This makes melanoma the fifth most common cancer in America. Melanoma is aggressive and rapidly deadly if it spreads beyond the skin.

The goal for all of us at Tareen Dermatology is to prevent melanoma. We strive to aid our patients in education and prevention.

The above photo shows an example of the "Ugly Duckling" sign. This is a recent melanoma Dr. Tareen diagnosed. Take a look how it is darker and shinier than the surrounding moles..

The “ugly duckling sign” has been shown to be accurate in recognizing melanoma lesions. Essentially, this sign suggests that one should come to the doctor when an obviously different skin lesion develops or changes. For instance, if all of your moles are light brown and you develop a black mole, you should be seen.

There are some very early melanomas for which this sign may not work, but the ugly duckling sign has been shown to be applicable for the majority of melanomas.

In addition to the ugly duckling sign, a full body skin exam has been shown to be helpful for the early detection of skin cancer for high risk individuals. These include patients with a personal or family history of skin cancer, fair skin, light eyes, red hair, more than 50 moles, or immunocompromised patients (those on immune altering medications or chemotherapy).

Intuition is also powerful, and if you feel one of your moles is becoming atypical, it would be our honor to check you.

Skin cancer is best caught early and we are always here for you at Tareen Dermatology.

Tareen Dermatology

  • Tareen Dermatology - 2720 Fairview Ave N., Suite 200, Roseville, MN 55113 Phone: 651-633-6883
  • The Faribault Office - 1575 20th St. N.W., Faribault, MN 55021 Phone: 651-633-6883
  • The Maplewood Office - 2945 Hazelwood St., Suite 230, Maplewood, MN 55109 Phone: 651-633-6883
  • The Monticello Office - 9766 Fallon Ave NE Suite 102, Monticello, MN 55362 Phone: 651-633-6883
  • The Hudson Office - 2651 Hillcrest Dr., Suite 304, Hudson, WI 54016 Phone: 651-633-6883
  • The Eagan Office - 1185 Town Centre Drive Suite 101, Eagan, MN 55123 Phone: 651-633-6883

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