Frequently Asked Questions: FotoFinder Mole Mapping

What is FotoFinder Mole Mapping And What Is It Used For?

FotoFinder is a highly accurate computerized mole mapping system that uses high-resolution photography and state of the art software to create an image database of all of your moles. This gives your doctor the ability to compare your moles with photos from your initial visit and immediately identify new moles or changes to existing moles on your body.

Why Is It Important To Monitor Changes In Moles?

Melanoma is a skin cancer that commonly develops in melanocytes, the cells that produce melanin or pigment for the skin, hair and eyes. Melanocytes can also form moles, and while most moles do not become melanoma, they are also the most common place for melanoma to form. If a mole is changing it could be a sign of melanoma. Early detection of melanoma is very important as it has a cure rate of over 95% when found in its early stage.

Who Should Get FotoFinder Mole Mapping Done?

If you meet any of the criteria listed below, you are at higher risk for melanoma and should consider digital mole mapping:

  • Multiple moles on your body (more than 50)
  • A history of melanoma in your family
  • A previous melanoma or skin cancer diagnosis
  • A previous diagnosis of dysplastic moles
  • Large (more than 2 inches in diameter) and/or oddly shaped moles
  • Noticeably changing moles or new moles
  • A history of severe, blistering sunburns during childhood or adolescence
  • A history of tanning bed use
  • Very light skin/pale complexion
Who Will Be Taking The Photographs And Who Examines Them?

A female medical assistant or Dr. Ben Wiese will take your photographs, which will then be stored in a secure server. Dr. Wiese will review your photographs, analyze any changes and discuss them with you during your full body skin exam.

What Should I Wear During The Photography Sessions?

In order to prepare for your mole mapping session:

  • Wear comfortable clothing and shoes that are easy to take off.
  • Preferably wear black underwear and remember you will need to wear similar undergarments for subsequent mole mapping sessions. Boxer shorts are not recommended.
  • Wear as little jewelry as possible. (Remove watches, bracelets, necklaces, chains, earrings, and piercings, etc.)
  • Please do not wear makeup, lipstick, eyeliner or nail polish.
  • Do not use self-tanning products in the week prior.
  • If you have long hair, please wear your hair up during the photography.
  • For men with a significant amount of body hair in areas such as the chest, abdomen, back, arms or legs, we recommend this area to be trimmed or shaven so that the moles can be visualized. If it is difficult for you to see them, it will be difficult for the camera to see them as well.
During Your Appointment

In order to maintain your comfort, you will have the following options:

  • Undress to your level of comfort.
  • Gowns and drapes will be available for your comfort.
  • You are welcome to bring a chaperone.
  • Please do not bring children.
Do You Check For Any Moles By The Undergarments?

If you have moles that you would like mapped in areas covered by your undergarments, please discuss this with the medical assistant when you arrive for your appointment.

What Will Happen During The Appointment?

You will undress to your level of comfort and be positioned in front of the FotoFinder camera. Firstly full body overview photographs will be taken. At this point, Dr. Wiese will do a full body skin exam with a handheld device called a dermatoscope and will mark any moles that need magnification photography and will then take close up photos of these moles with a handheld device.

How Long Does The Important Normally Take?

The duration of your appointment depends on the number of moles that need close up photography. If you only need overview photographs, the appointment should last about 15 minutes. If you have many moles that your doctor has marked for magnification photography, the appointment will last longer, up to 45 minutes.

Are There Any Contraindications To Digital Mole Mapping?

You cannot have digital mole mapping performed when you have a rash, sunburn or prominent tan lines as this can interfere with the detection software.

How Often Should Digital Mole Mapping Be Performed?

Digital mole mapping should be performed every 6 to 12 months as recommended by your doctor.

Do I still Need To Get Full Body Skin Exams If I Do Digital Mole Mapping?

Digital mole mapping with FotoFinder is only an aid for your doctor. You will still need to get full body skin exams. Although the digital mole mapping is very helpful, the software may not detect all new or changing lesions. Full body skin exams are very important, and they are not replaced by digital mole mapping.

Does Insurance Cover Digital Mole Mapping Using FotoFinder?

Digital mole mapping using FotoFinder is not covered by commercial insurance at this time.

How Do I Schedule An Appointment For Digital Mole Mapping?

You do not need a referral from your family physician. You can book online at www.kelownaskincancer.com or call our office at 778 484 5560.