Mole Mapping

Mole Mapping

Mole Mapping

What is Mole Mapping?

Mole mapping, also known as mole surveillance or full-body mole mapping, is a proactive approach to monitoring changes in moles and other skin lesions over time.

This systematic method of tracking skin changes plays a crucial role in early detection and prevention of skin cancer, particularly melanoma. Here, we’ll explain the the importance of mole mapping, the process involved, and its significance in maintaining skin health.

What is Mole Mapping important?

Skin cancer, including melanoma, is one of the most common types of cancer globally. Early detection is key to successful treatment and improved outcomes. Mole mapping provides a structured way to monitor the skin for suspicious changes, allowing us to identify potential melanomas at an early, more treatable stage. Here’s why mole mapping matters:

  1. Early Detection: Mole mapping enables the detection of subtle changes in moles or the appearance of new lesions that may indicate the development of skin cancer. Detecting melanoma at an early stage significantly increases the chances of successful treatment and survival.
  2. Personalized Monitoring: Mole mapping provides a baseline of the individual’s skin, allowing healthcare providers to track changes in existing moles and identify new lesions specific to each patient. This personalized approach enables tailored surveillance and intervention as needed.
  3. Risk Assessment: Individuals with a higher risk of developing skin cancer, such as those with a personal or family history of melanoma or numerous atypical moles, can benefit from regular mole mapping to assess their risk and detect potential malignancies early.

Changes in a Mole

Look for the following changes in any moles you have:

  • Change in color.
  • The mole gets unevenly bigger or smaller (unlike normal moles in children, which get evenly bigger)
  • Changes in shape, texture, or height.
  • The skin on the surface becomes dry or scaly.
  • The mole becomes hard or feels lumpy.
  • It starts to itch, bleeds, or oozes without being scratched.

During your consultation with Dr. Bratu, she will advise you as to whether she is concerned about the mole and whether an investigation will be required.

She will recommend a full excision or just taking a tissue sample. This will then be sent for tests, and depending on the results that come back, this will determine whether further treatment should be carried out.

Mole Mapping

The Mole Mapping Process

Mole mapping typically involves a comprehensive examination of the skin by a dermatologist or trained healthcare professional. In this case you will be looked after by Dr. Natalia Bratu. The process may vary in all types of clinics, but it generally follows these steps:

  1. Initial Assessment: During the initial assessment, Dr. Bratu will conduct a thorough evaluation of the your medical history, including any past skin cancer diagnoses, family history, and risk factors.
  2. Visual Inspection: Dr. Natalia will inspect your entire skin surface, including areas not typically exposed to the sun, such as the scalp, between the toes, and under the nails. She will use specialized equipment such as magnifying devices or dermatoscopes to examine individual moles in detail.
  3. Photographic Documentation: High-resolution digital photography or specialized imaging systems are used to capture images of your skin, focusing on individual moles and areas of concern. These images serve as a baseline for comparison during future visits.
  4. Follow-Up Visits: We advise that you return to us for regular follow-up visits. This is typically annually or we may recommend a different time based on your individual risk factors. During these visits, Dr. Natalia will compare current images to the baseline images to identify any concerning changes and determine the appropriate course of action.

Why is Mole Mapping significant to Skin Health?

  1. Early Detection Saves Lives: Detecting melanoma at an early stage significantly improves treatment outcomes and reduces the risk of metastasis or spread to other parts of the body.
  2. Peace of Mind: Regular mole mapping provides individuals with peace of mind knowing that their skin is being closely monitored by healthcare professionals trained in skin cancer detection.
  3. Empowerment Through Knowledge: By understanding their individual risk factors and the importance of skin surveillance, individuals can take proactive steps to protect their skin and reduce their risk of skin cancer.
  4. Facilitation of Timely Intervention: Mole mapping facilitates timely intervention, allowing healthcare providers to recommend further evaluation, biopsy, or treatment as needed based on changes observed during surveillance.

Contact us for more information on Dermatology.

Appointments can be made via our Booking Page, email, or via phone. Please be advised that our secretary may need to ask some personal questions to help decide which appointment type is most suited to your needs.

As of May 1st 2024 our Dermatology & GP prices have changed to the following:

1. Dermatology Consultation – €180
2. Follow Up Dermatology Consultation (Must be within 4 weeks of 1st consultation) – €100
3. First Time GP Consultation:  €75 Euro
4. GP Consultation for Existing patients – €60