What is a body map?
This is a simple picture of the outline of a body, an online app or a photo series where you can detail the position of moles as they appear. You can use it in a variety of ways to keep track of and to count your moles and it makes a great tool to take to your doctor if you have any concerns.
How to use a body map
Simple drawing: There are several locations online where you can print out a simple diagram of the human body (front and back), allowing you to pinpoint the position of the moles, freckles, and blemishes across your body. You can use different color pens or ink to identify the type of mole it is. You can also add in extra written details such as “irregular shape, two colours or itchy”. Don’t forget to date your body map.
Photos: You should also consider taking high-resolution photos of your moles as they appear and any that you have concerns about. You can save these to your computer with a note about the location, the size, and the date. You can use the photos in conjunction with your body map for a better view.
Smartphone app: You may wish to go a little more high-tech by downloading an app that allows you to take photos of your moles and keep track of them more easily. This way you can track and compare moles, and take this to your doctor if needed.
Some apps, like SkinVision, are able to use an online assessment to identify suspect moles for you. These apps allow you to body map all of your moles in a very effective way.
How will it help?
What experts know is that people with plenty of moles on their body are more prone to developing skin cancer. This means upwards of 100 moles on their entire body. The process of body mapping will allow you to count your moles more easily and to document the arrival of new ones.
Your doctor will also ask you questions about how long your mole has been on your skin and when it began to change. You have all of this info at your fingertips – an invaluable mine of helpful information for your doctor or specialist.
Nothing beats prevention
We all know that avoiding the presence or evolving of moles in the first place means avoiding the sun and covering up with clothing or sunscreen. But keeping an eye on existing moles is the very next best step.