“The Ugly Duckling Sign” may be the best way for none dermatologist to recognize a melanoma.

Most patient education materials talk about using the A,B,C,D, Es of melanoma detection. (Asymmetry, Boarder irregularity, Color variation, Diameter larger than 6mm and Evolution or change). A recent study suggests that for most patients looking for the “ugly duckling” among a group of moles may be a more effective self screening technique. That doesn’t mean you should ignore the A,B,C,D,Es, but you should also look out for the ugly duckling, before it becomes an even uglier duck!

Link to abstract:



Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology
The Role of the Ugly Duckling Sign in Patient Education
J Am Acad Dermatol 2017 Sep 27;[EPub Ahead of Print], M Ilyas, CM Costello, N Zhang, A Sharma