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What’s the difference between a skin check and mole mapping?

What’s the difference between a skin check and mole mapping?

What’s the difference between a skin check and mole mapping?

When it comes to detecting skin cancer, regular assessments of moles, spots and other changing blemishes is important. That’s because early detection can lead to a high chance of survival as the melanoma can be confined to the skin.

One of the most common questions we are asked by patients is: what’s the difference between a skin check and mole mapping?

It’s a good question, and there are some key differences, which we’ve outlined below.

What is a skin check?

A skin check involves a thorough, full-body examination – from head to toe including under your nails – by one of our skin cancer doctors.

Skin checks are used to assess and diagnose the presence of pre-cancerous and cancerous spots.

Any suspicious spots are photographed under high-power magnification with a specialised device called a dermatoscope.

These high-resolution images can be magnified up to 100 times, increasing the accuracy of a skin cancer diagnosis and reducing the need for unnecessary biopsies or excisions.

These images are also mapped to your personal 3D body image and recorded for future reference.

As part of the skin check, your doctor will formulate a skin management plan to treat any pre-cancerous or cancerous spots, and minimise the risk of further sun damage.

What is mole mapping?

Mole mapping involves using our state-of-the-art, artificial intelligence, high-resolution digital imaging technology to map every lesion on the body.

This technology is used to assist with the earliest recognition of small changes in lesions over time.

In combination with skin checks by a skin cancer doctor, mole mapping is the gold standard in diagnosing melanoma in high-risk patients.

Early detection saves lives, with a 99 per cent cure rate if identified early.

What’s the difference between a skin check and mole mapping?

How do you know if you should book for a skin check, mole mapping, or both?

As a minimum, patients should book in for a skin check with a skin cancer doctor because it allows for the assessment and diagnosis of skin concerns that are occurring in the present.

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.

Many of our patients choose to have both a skin check and mole mapping to enhance the early detection of skin cancer over time. However, it is particularly recommended for high-risk individuals.

If you are unsure if you should have mole mapping, your skin cancer doctor can discuss whether it is recommended for you during a skin check.

How do you prepare for a skin check and mole mapping?

To facilitate the most accurate assessment of your skin and mole mapping technology, we recommend you prepare for your treatment in the following ways:

  • Remove all make-up, moisturiser, tanning products, sunscreen and nail polish before arriving at your appointment
  • If you have a natural full-body tan, please allow approximately three weeks for the tan to fade before your mole mapping appointment
  • Wear plain coloured underwear if you are having a skin check or mole mapping, as multiple colours can interfere with the computer software’s ability to read digital images. Note that underwear is not removed during skin checks unless you have a particular spot of concern in the area that you would like examined. A modesty sheet, or your own clothing if you prefer, will be offered to cover areas of the skin while they are not being examined.

Want to find out more about skin checks and mole mapping?

If you are still unsure whether you need to book in for a skin check or mole mapping, or if you have any questions relating to skin cancer checks, get in touch and we’ll be happy to guide you.

At Bass Coast Skin Doctors, our doctors have years of experience in treating skin and work to the highest industry standards to ensure treatments are safe and comfortable for patients.

Book a consultation at our clinic or phone (03) 5618 7007 to find out more.