Mole Mapping or Digital Dermoscopy is a relatively new method of digitally monitoring moles or melanocytic naevi. The Mole Mapping machine involves a digital video camera that is able to take a magnified image of the naevus.
There is a software programme that analyses the mole and this image can then be stored and the patient followed up closely. This has been a major technical advance in that it allows Dermatologists, to look into the mole and to make a far more accurate diagnosis. Should there be the slightest change to the mole on follow-up, then the lesion should be surgically excised.
If patients present with a large number of moles, Mole Mapping technology will make sure that nothing is overlooked and once the images are stored, each time the patient pays a visit to their Dermatologist, a comparative image will be shown from the previous visit, on a split screen.
Thanks to ongoing observation and the storage of the Mole Mapping images, unnecessary excisions of harmless moles can be avoided and only moles that are a threat to the patient will be removed.
It is advisable to make an appointment to see your Dermatologist if you observe any of the following changes to a mole/s:
- Change in colour i.e. darkening, loss of colour or the appearance of other colours.
- Diffuse edges i.e. irregular or spreading edge.
- Increase or decrease in size or thickness.
- Changes to the area around the mole i.e. swelling, pain, redness.
- Bleeding – a mole that is bleeding needs urgent attention.
- New moles that occur especially after the age of 25 years.
- Paraesthesia – itchiness, odd sensation