What is Mole Mapping?
Mole mapping is a technique whereby a person’s moles (naevi) are catalogued or ‘mapped’. The images created can then be used as part of a person’s skin cancer surveillance program.
Please note that the best way to assess whether moles need to be mapped, is a complete assessment of all your moles using dermoscopy. If all of your moles have a typical regular and benign pattern on dermoscopy then more detailed mapping may not be required
How they look like:
- Skin coloured pink or brown marks on the skin
- Typically round or oval shaped
- Dermoscopy – to examine the moles in detail
- Mole mapping – to check for changes in moles
- Shave excision – to reduce the size of the mole
- Excision – to fully remove the mole for analysis
Who should consider having their moles mapped?
People who are at increased risk of the development of skin cancer. This includes those with:
- Large number of moles
- Moles that have an unusual appearance (atypical moles)
- A family history of skin cancer
- A personal history of skin cancer
- Pale skin that easily burns in the sun
- Episodes of previous severe sun burn
- Exposure to significant amounts of sunlight like working or living abroad or outdoor work
- A suppressed immune system
What are the advantages of Mole Mapping?
- Malignant melanoma can be detected at an early stage when treatment is most effective
- Your skin will be examined for malignant melanoma by a specialist consultant dermatologist
- One-stop screening and surgical removal is offered for those with malignant melanoma
- Your whole body photographs and digital photo-dermoscopy images are retained for future comparisons
- Unnecessary removal of harmless moles can be prevented
It is completely normal to develop moles in childhood and adulthood. They can be raised and skin coloured or flat and brown.
Any change in a mole should be checked by a doctor.