Ever been worried about moles on your skin, be it the increasing number or the colour of them? Or perhaps that one of them could turn out to be cancerous? At The Clifford Clinic, we provide mole mapping to systematically record, track and monitor the moles on your skin to detect abnormal moles and further advise on mole treatment.
What is mole mapping?
Using mole mapping software, our doctors can now capture all the moles on your body and store the images on our computer database. We meticulously examine and photograph your body to record the size and location of the moles. In this way, we could have a baseline record of your skin and subsequently, repeat the process at specified intervals to compare and monitor for any changes in the moles or the emergence of new ones.
There are currently various mole mapping software in the market. Our aesthetic clinic uses the latest AI technology in mole mapping to precisely analyze the images of your moles and compare them between consecutive pictures to act as surveillance for any new developments in mole colour, size and characteristics.
Who is mole mapping suitable for?
Mole mopping is recommended for anyone who would like help in identifying new moles or identifying changes in spots – which may turn out to be skin cancer – on all parts of their body. People who are at higher risk of melanoma, i.e., people who are more fair-skinned, have a family history of skin cancers or with many moles on their body (over 100) are suitable candidates for mole mapping. It is recommended for people with many moles to have mole mapping done regularly to monitor for new or evolving spots that they might have otherwise not paid attention to.
Even if you have a few moles, concerning features of mole changes may be able to be picked up with mole mapping. If your skin has many other coloured spots that may be hard to tell apart, mole mapping may be suitable for you too.
What is mole mapping useful for?
Mole mapping is a useful surveillance tool to detect melanomas or any other skin cancers. When you have too many moles, it may be hard to monitor and keep track of which are new or have evolved. The goal of mole mapping is to catch the development of melanoma or skin cancer at the earliest possible time, as this directly translates to a much higher survival outcome.
Melanoma is a potentially life-threatening type of skin cancer that develops from cells known as melanocytes. Despite occurring less frequently than other types of skin cancers, melanoma can be more life-threatening because of its potential to metastasize rapidly if it is not treated at an early stage.
With mole mapping, early signs of changes in your spots can be flagged out so that both you and your doctor can closely monitor them or even consider mole removal.
Studies have shown that mole mapping is beneficial in early detection of melanoma, and especially so for those at a higher risk of melanoma. The Cancer Council Australia advocates that mole mapping be recommended as a way of recording a baseline and checking for changes in such people.
What is the difference between mole mapping and other skin cancer examinations?
Mole mopping is different from a full body skin examination, whereby a doctor evaluates and diagnoses your spot, but no comprehensive images may be taken. Furthermore, mole mapping has the added advantage of using technology and AI to store, track and monitor developments in the skin, which a traditional skin cancer examination would not be able to do so. Also, you can receive copies of the digital images taken and use them to perform self-skin check-ups at home and track your moles.
Essentially, using high resolution and technology, you can spot changes better and more effectively with mole mapping.
What to expect during a mole mapping session?
The duration depends on the areas of body involved and can range from 15-45 minutes. The first session will require taking a series of photographs of your body and these images will be stored as baseline images.
With subsequent follow-up visits, the same duration is needed to retake the same region and another 30 minutes would be taken to compare both sets of images for any new developments.
At each mole mapping session, the medical team will request you to undress and change into a dressing gown. A series of photos will then be taken from top to bottom, front and back, and left and right systematically, one area at a time.
A follow-up medical appointment would be made after each mole mapping session, so that our doctors can share with you the findings from the comparison of the current set of images with images from previous mole mapping sessions.
There are also a few things to take note for a mole mapping session. Firstly, do consider shaving or waxing the areas that you wish to do mole mapping. This is because it is ideal to have images of the moles when the skin is clear and not obstructed by any hair. Secondly, as the system detects spots, do kindly wear plain, single-colour underwear to increase the accuracy of analysis.
Although most skin moles don’t end up in cancer, it is important to stay alert of any mole changes. The Clifford Clinic in Singapore has extensive experience in dealing with all types of skin cancer cases and can even conduct small mole removal. Our clinic is dedicated to provide the best care available, managed by a multi-disciplinary team that consists of aesthetic doctors, a medical oncologist, radiologist and pathologist. Call us at +65 6532 2400 to schedule an appointment today.