Mole Mapping is a painless, non-invasive procedure that acts as a surveillance programme, cataloguing and tracking your moles over time. This makes it possible to identify any changes in pre-existing or new moles which could potentially lead to skin cancer.
The process of mole mapping uses computer assisted photography and digital photo-dermoscopy to take a collection of images of your skin’s surface to generate a complete body mole map.
It has never been more important to regularly check your skin for any signs of changes in your moles or to look out for new ones. Most people have some freckles, marks or moles on their skin and it can often be difficult to identify which are new or have changed. In addition, areas which are not easily visible, like your back, can be difficult to monitor.
Mole Mapping eliminates these concerns and is a complete assessment of your moles, assisting in the early detection of skin cancer.
Who should consider mole mapping?
Mole mapping is a screening service for those at risk of, or concerned about skin cancer. Your risk of developing skin cancer depends on many factors, including age, genetics, and exposure to major lifestyle and other risk factors.
People who are at increased risk of the development of skin cancer include those exposed to:
- Ultraviolet (UV) rays – excessive sunlight, tanning beds and sun lamps
- A large number of moles
- Irregular or large moles with an unusual appearance (atypical moles)
- People with fair skin, freckling or light hair
- Family history of skin cancer
- Personal history of melanoma or other skin cancers
- A weak immune system
- Xeroderma pigmentosum (XP)
What are the advantages of mole mapping?
Mole mapping is intended to diagnose skin cancer at the earliest possible stage, when treatment is most effective, some of the advantages to Mole Mapping include:
- Your mole mapping history can be used to determine if a mole is new or has changed
- Your appointment will be with a specialist consultant dermatologist
- If you discover a new or changed mole, but it doesn’t reach the threshold for removal, it can be re-imaged and watched carefully
- Preventable removal of harmless moles can be avoided
- Reassurance and peace of mind
What does mole mapping involve?
Mole Mapping is an out-patient appointment and will usually take approximately 60 minutes.
When you arrive you will be asked to complete a questionnaire about your moles and to identify skin cancer related risk factors.
A series of standardised photos of all the moles on your skin will then be taken and recorded on your file.
Your consultant will then run through your questionnaire, examine your skin and address any specific moles that cause concern for a higher resolution photographic (dermoscopic) examination.
Your consultant will then give advice in light of the findings.
Watch our short video below, presented by Dr Robert Herd, Consultant Dermatologist that gives more detail on the mole mapping service.
Alternatively if you’d like to find out more or book an appointment please call 0141 810 3151 or make an online enquiry here.