Know Your ABCDEs
In an attempt to systemize nevus description physicians use a variety of adjectives to describe visible alterations. To simplify things, benign lesions are almost always uniform in color, circular in shape, and exhibit bilateral symmetry about any axis drawn through its diameter. Malignant melanomas diverge from this appearance to a greater or lesser extent. To help one remember the criteria, they have been called the ABCDEs (mnemonic) of nevus description. Another valuable consideration is the so-called "ugly duckling" nevus which appears significantly different than all the other nevi on the patient.