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Mole mapping: What to ask your skin doctor before a mole mapping session

Mole mapping: What to ask your skin doctor before a mole mapping session

Mole mapping: What to ask your skin doctor before a mole mapping session

Every person who lives in Australia needs to be aware of the risks of developing melanoma and skin cancer, and mole mapping is an effective way to track changes in your skin over time.

Here’s how mole mapping works, what you can expect from a mole mapping session, and the questions to ask your skin doctor before a mole mapping session.

What is mole mapping?

Mole mapping is a detailed tracking and monitoring process, which is usually recommended for those most at risk of skin cancer and melanoma. Mole mapping is an ongoing process with the aim to identify changes in the skin over time.

A mole mapping session takes about 45 minutes, during which high-resolution digital photography is used across the entire body. The process is then repeated at regular intervals and the results are compared to detect and assess any changes.

Why do I need mole mapping?

There are two very good reasons to do mole mapping: Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, and early detection of melanoma saves lives.

If you have a lot of moles or are prone to developing skin cancer due to your skin type or family history, mole mapping is an effective way to keep track of your moles and can greatly improve detection of melanoma at its early stages.

Should I get mole mapping or a skin check? What’s the difference?

Mole mapping is a tracking and monitoring process that should be undertaken along with skin checks.

A skin check is a thorough, full-body examination, carried out by a skin doctor, and is used to assess and diagnose pre-cancerous and cancerous spots. During a skin check, skin doctors assess what is currently presenting on your skin.

Mole mapping, on the other hand, is a comparative tool that helps assist with the earliest detection of small changes over time. Mole mapping is an ongoing process, and the process is repeated once or twice a year, where results are compared to detect possible changes.

The combination of skin checks and mole mapping is the gold standard in diagnosing melanoma.

Skin checks are recommended every 12 months, unless advised earlier by a medical professional or if you notice the appearance of new or changing spots. Mole mapping is particularly recommended for high-risk individuals and is usually carried out every 6-12 months.

What can I expect from a mole mapping session?

The mole mapping process involves taking a series of photographs of your body and the session usually takes about 45 minutes.

Our skin doctors use software by DermEngine with AI-assisted monitoring, which scans for changes or abnormalities that might be indicators of early skin cancer.

This state-of-the-art technology and our skilled skin doctors ensure that all mole mapping procedures are thorough, accurate and empower our patients with the best information.

What happens when I get my mole mapping results?

During follow-up visits, the nurse or skin doctor compares both sets of photographs and analyses the data in conjunction with your medical history to create a treatment plan that gives you the best chance of detecting skin cancer.

Find out more about mole mapping

Mole mapping is a specialised service and should only be performed by qualified and experienced doctors, with particular skin expertise and using the best mole mapping technology available.

At Bass Coast Skin Doctors, we use state-of-the-art technology, and mole mapping is performed by skilled and experienced skin doctors.

To find out more about mole mapping, call our clinic on (03) 5618 7007 or book an appointment online.