Mole Mapping

In recent years, the number of melanoma cases has increased significantly. Westlake Dermatology is pleased to offer expert mole mapping and digital dermoscopy with the FotoFinder® system to provide the most advanced method for early diagnosis of skin cancer.  Mole mapping is available at our Westlake location.

What is mole mapping and dermoscopy?

With a medical camera, your dermatologist takes whole body photographs to document moles (mole mapping) and high-resolution, microscopic photos of your at-risk moles (digital dermoscopy).

The mole images can be measured, analyzed, and stored in a digital database. During follow-up exams, your mole images can be taken again and digitally compared with photos from your initial baseline visit to immediately find new or changed moles on your body. Detecting these slight changes can help to detect possible skin cancer at an early stage.

Why should I get mole mapping photos done?

Skin cancer is one of the most common cancers worldwide. Early detection of skin cancer is the best way to cure and survive. Melanoma starts as a small spot on your skin, grows over the course of time and finally spreads the cancer cells to other organs in your body. If it is early detected by your physician, it can be excised before it starts spreading and the cure rate is more than 95%. Most important is the detection of new moles and the detection of changes in existing moles. Therefore it is important to have a photo documentation system which allows accurate tracking of moles.

The mole mapping procedure is most accurate when done without clothing.  However, if clothing is worn it should be kept to a minimum.

Who should the ideal candidate for mole mapping?

Mole mapping is particularly useful for people with many and diverse moles. If any of the following questions apply to you, you are an ideal mole-mapping candidate. Whether or not you have mole mapping done, you should have your moles checked by your physician.

  • Do you have multiple moles (more than 50)?
  • Is there a history of skin cancer in your family?
  • Did you already have a melanoma?
  • Do you have large moles (diameter more than 2 inches)?
  • Have you noticed any changes in your moles?
  • Have you noticed any new mole on your body?
  • Did you have any severe sunburns during childhood or adolescence?
  • Do you have sensitive, light skin?