August 10, 2020

What Is Mole Mapping?

woman with a mole in her upper lip

Skin cancer is unfortunately one of the most commonly experienced types of cancer in the world, especially in Australia where we have some of the highest rates of skin cancer around the globe. Australians experience a lot of sun exposure and like to spend time in the sun, we love spending time outdoors doing sports, traveling or enjoying leisure activities such as water sports or boating, unfortunately, this puts us at risk of developing skin cancer as we age. The strong UV radiation that we receive in Australia means that many people will experience skin cancer in their lifetime.

There are different forms of skin cancer and melanoma is one of the most dangerous and aggressive. It is often characterised by fast growing moles which often start off looking fairly innocuous until they begin to spread. They are a malignant form of cancer and they can spread cancerous cells all around the body if they are not treated quickly enough.


Should I be worried?

Not every mole is dangerous, many of them are safe and typically will begin to appear in childhood. In fact many kids will have more than 50 of them by the time of their fifteenth birthday. A normal one will usually be around one to ten mm’s in size and they usually look uniform when it comes to being the same size, shape, colour and tone. They will not have irregular edges and they will not change their shape, size or colour over time. Melanoma’s will grow and change in appearance. If you develop new ones after you turn 25 then it’s best to consult a doctor to have it looked at, even if it looks relatively harmless.


Mole mapping

Mole mapping is a simple, non-invasive way to track any changes on the skin and identify cancerous melanomas. It is a system that tracks signs of cancer, preventing issues from becoming too serious. It is a painless process often performed by dermatologists who will check and carefully document everything on the body over time to help identify any possible risk factors. The mole mapping procedure using whole-body photography, digital dermatoscoping and anin-depth skin examinations for mole mapping. The technology stores imagery of your body and images will be carefully compared over time and can help to identify any suspicious areas on the skin. If the doctor identifies potential problem areas then they can determine what to do, whether they should biopsy, remove things or if further investigation is needed.


Should you get mole mapping done?

If you have skin that is easily sunburnt or have lots of freckles or a tan then it’s a good idea to get your skin investigated. It’s also worth thinking about it if you live in areas where you often get exposed to a lot of UV radiation which can raise your risk of experiencing melanoma. If you spend a lot of time in the sun or work in the sun then mole mapping is also a good idea. When it comes to skin cancer it is well worth getting regular check-ups, prevention is far simpler than the cure when it comes to cancers. Getting ahead of any potential issues can reduce your potential for having cancers spread. Mole mapping is a great and very simple preventative procedure that can help to ensure your health and life are safe. Good mole mapping services will thoroughly check everywhere, even areas that are covered or hard to see such as checking your scalp, face neck, torso, arms and legs, your front side and backside. They’ll even check places like your fingernails and the soles of your feet this will help them to identify any potential issues, even in areas that you might not be able to see.

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About Gene Sullivan