Many people are born with scattered moles. Some developed them as children, and others in their adolescence. While skin moles are normal, they can be dangerous and deadly.
When your moles start to look abnormal (e.g. they’ve changed colour or shape), you need to be cautious and have them checked now and then. Melanoma, a form of cancer caused by moles, tops the list of the most common skin cancer in Australia. Even if mole mapping is not the most glamorous way to spend your time and money, it is more important than ever to make sure your moles are looking their best and staying protected.
Read on to learn more about this effective way of checking your moles
What Is Mole Mapping?
By using high-resolution pictures, mole mapping allows skin cancer doctors to check all lesions on your body. Lesions are changes to your normal and healthy skin, which can both be cancerous (malignant) and non-cancerous (benign).
Moreover, the pictures can provide a way to track changes on your skin, especially if you have a history of skin cancer or if you have a large number of unusual moles. Since it shows a history of changes to your skin, mole mapping can help experts diagnose melanoma and skin cancer earlier and treat them before they spread.
What are the Benefits of Mole Mapping?
Mole mapping can be especially beneficial to patients who have a high chance of developing skin cancer. Plenty of people believe that melanoma usually forms inside a mole that they have for a while. However, in reality, 70% of melanomas come from new moles and 30% of melanomas arise from moles you’ve had for a while that suddenly change.
When you go to a mole mapping clinic and have your moles checked, you can take home a copy of the photos on a flash drive and use them when performing self-skin exams. You can look at the pictures, compare how your skin looks now to how it looked after the mole mapping. This allows you to spot changes on your skin more effectively.
Skin cancer doctors can use mole mapping images to make your annual skin checks more thorough. The process can help skin cancer doctors follow changes in your skin more accurately as it documents a full spectrum of moles, including moles you’ve had for a while but then they’ve suddenly changed and new moles that are unnoticeable.
What Happens During a Mole Mapping Appointment?
Typically, a mole mapping appointment involves a two-stage process that takes 15 to 45 minutes all up. A skin cancer doctor will consult you and identify a family history of skin cancer, risk factors, and any skin concerns you may have. Then, a thorough skin check will follow. After the first appointment, the process gets shorter.
The skin cancer doctor will inspect every single mole and freckle on your body with the dermatoscope (a small, hand-held, and non-invasive device) during the full-body skin check. This will allow the expert to zoom in and out through the first layers of the skin to see and make a note of the incredibly detailed structure.
The next step of the process involves taking photographs of your suspicious moles from all angles, ensuring every inch of your skin is recorded. Then, the staff may use a more detailed imaging device to take microscopic photos of atypical moles and map them with the full-body images.
How Is Mole Mapping Different from a Standard Skin Check?
You can have a standard skin check at any skin cancer clinic in NSW, which only takes 10 minutes to complete. You will be asked to remove your clothes and put on a medical exam gown. The doctor will take a quick scan to your body to inspect your moles. Then, the doctor will evaluate the asymmetry, border irregularity, colour, diameter, and evolution of your moles.
On the contrary, mole mapping is more thorough. It can also detect any problems your moles may have.
Where is the Best Place to Have Your Moles Checked?
So, you’ve decided to have your moles checked by experts and you’re looking for a reputable mole mapping clinic. Erina Skin Cancer Clinic is here to address your skin concerns.
Our experts have the experience to carry out a comprehensive mole mapping. When you book a regular appointment, you can trust that we can help you identify underlying problems and keep an eye on changes and new developments of your mole after the first appointment. Schedule an annual full-body scan and we will keep you on the right track for healthy skin.
Now that you have a better idea of what mole mapping is all about and what you can benefit from it, we are sure that you will consider it in the near future. If you have more questions about the process, feel free to visit our website erinaskincancerclinic.com.au or talk to our experts at your convenience.