‘Ugly duckling’ sign identifies malignant melanomas

January 22, 2008

New York - Spotting pigmented moles that look different from a other moles on someone could be malignant melanoma, Reuters Health reports.

New York

- Spotting pigmented moles that look different from a person?s other moles, also know as the ?ugly duckling sign,? is an easy way to detect malignant melanoma, Reuters Health reports.

This model is rooted in the observation that moles in the same person tend to look alike, and malignant melanoma is often a deviation from their mole pattern, doctors say.

Researchers studied the ability of 34 professionals at varying levels of expertise to identify “ugly duckling” moles in patients with several atypical moles. Eight pigmented mole experts, 13 general dermatologists, five dermatology nurses and eight non-medical doctor medical staff members participated.

All five melanomas and 3 benign moles were marked as different by 2/3 of participants, researchers say.