Full Body Mole Map and Skin Check with Skin Scan
Often moles that people least expect are the most dangerous. Skin Scan uses the latest technology to monitor suspicious moles. The Skin Centre uses Skin Scan™ for full body mole mapping (TBI - Total Body Imaging) and for the surveillance of concerning moles to detect the earliest changes possible. Early detection is the most important step in the successful treatment of skin cancer. A full skin check appointment is performed first by one of our experienced doctors to ensure TBI is in fact necessary for you.
Total Body Photography (imaging)
This is part of the Skin Scan process which the doctors may also recommend to assist in self examination of the skin and can be used as a baseline for future skin check.
What do I expect during a skin check ?
What is Skin Scan?
"Skin Scan" for Skin Cancer Surveillance
Skin Cancer is the most common cancer and the incidence is increasing each year. Factors that indicate increased risk for melanoma skin cancer include overexposure to the sun, episodes of sunburn in childhood, personal or family history of skin cancer, having fair skin that burns easily and having a large number of naevi (moles). Regular checks are very effective in detecting skin cancers and allowing for treatment at an early stage.
The Skin Centre uses the Molemax camera and software to offer the most advanced technology available with "Skin Scan".
The aim of Skin Scan is early detection of Melanoma, as well as Basal Cell and Squamous Cell Skin Cancers. Melanoma is the most critical as early detection of Malignant Melanoma can mean curative surgery for what is potentially a deadly disease.
The first and most important step is to have one of our highly trained doctors conduct a full skin check. Our doctors are experts at spotting skin cancers when they are early and subtle, when others might overlook them. Obvious skin cancers are identified as well as moles that are 'atypical' and need to be monitored closely.
The second step, if recommended to you by your doctor as important in your ongoing skin health, is body mapping the whole skin with the High Definition (HD) camera, giving us a baseline to work from and allowing the ability to review all areas of the skin for any future changes. Body mapping is an invaluable tool for the diagnosis of Melanoma as 70% of Melanoma arise as new moles. The TBI (Total Body Imaging) photos are copied to a CD to allow for self checking between skin checks.
In the third step, lesions that are less dangerous but have a risk for evolving into cancer are then photographed through a dermatoscope with the HD camera. The dermatoscope allows us to see the exact structure of the mole. Dr James Spreadborough and Dr Paul Salmon, review all the highly magnified digitized images of the individual lesions, taking into account the clinical appearance and history.
In some cases step two is not necessary and only moles that require monitoring are imaged. In some cases following a full skin check you may not require either of these tools.
Your doctor will advise the best way to monitor your skin.
A follow up appointment is made to repeat these close-up images at intervals appropriate to the nature of the mole. With two images side by side for comparison, subtle changes that can herald development of cancer within a lesion are able to be picked up.
We are all aware now of the dangers of excessive sun exposure and how important it is to be sun smart, but it is also important to be "skin smart" and get those moles checked.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does the Skin Scan take? Do I need to bring anything?
Allow yourself 45-60 minutes for the appointment. If you have a large number of potentially abnormal moles you may need more individual lesion images which can take a bit longer. Bring a hair tie for long hair, remove any foundation and for thorough checks, it is best if you remove any nail polish (clear is fine).
When will I know if I need something removed?
At the time of consultation, the doctor conducting the skin check will advise you if any lesions require treatment. If necessary these can be removed efficiently and expertly on site . The doctor will discuss with you the treatment options that best suit your needs.
Do I need to bring my CD of photos with me each time?
No. All the photos taken with MoleMax are stored on the system and regularly backed up.
Do I have to be completely undressed? And who sees the photos?
The TBI (Total Body Imaging) photos are taken with underwear on and the skin check performed by the doctor is carried out in a way that respects your modesty as much as possible. Any photos taken are only able to be viewed by the Skin Scan professionals. The photos reviewed by the doctors are close up photos of the moles.