FotoFinder Mole Mapping

UT Health Austin provides ongoing observation of patients who are at high-risk of melanoma through the use of FotoFinder, a skin imaging technology that performs pain-free automated total body mapping to create an accurate skin map of the patient as well as analyze and more efficiently track any changes to their moles or other potential skin issues. This state-of-the-art device is one of the most advanced diagnostic tools used in detecting abnormalities early. Currently, UT Health Austin is one of only two providers in the state of Texas with access to this technology.

What is automated total body mapping?

Automated total body mapping, also referred to as mole mapping, is a procedure that uses a combination of high-resolution photography, video dermoscopy, and artificial intelligence to create a highly magnified image of a patient’s moles and mole structure. The photos produced are referenced for follow-up skin exams and the detection of new or changing moles. This technology allows the provider to compare the patient’s new map to their initial baseline map to immediately identify minute changes in the shape, growth, and/or appearance of their moles.

Fotofinder machine for mole mapping

How does it work?

The mapping process captures a map of the patient’s moles by taking photographs of their body from head to toe on all sides. The procedure is painless, consists of less than 20 photos, and is completed within minutes. Additionally, a special video microscope may be used to magnify images of certain moles to show a clearer image of the mole structure to help address any concerns.

A video tutorial of the mapping process can be found here.

What are the benefits of being mapped?

Melanoma, a type of skin cancer, is one of the most common types of cancer. Melanoma can be potentially deadly, resulting in thousands of deaths per year. If detected early on, the cure rate is over 95% because it can be removed before it spreads to other parts of the body. In addition to providing preventive care, mole mapping can increase rates of early detection by allowing providers to identify melanomas that are much thinner, at an earlier stage, and more easily treatable. The mole mapping imaging technology can also potentially decrease the number of unnecessary biopsies for patients.

Who should consider getting mapped?

If you are at higher risk for developing melanoma or have identified suspicious moles on your skin, you should consider getting mapped.

High-risk patients typically answer “yes” to one or more of the following questions:

  • Do you have very light skin type that reacts sensitively to sunlight?
  • Did you have severe, blistering sunburns during childhood or adolescence?
  • Are you exposed to strong sunlight at regular intervals?
  • Do you have multiple moles (more than 50)?
  • Do you have many moles that are irregular in shape or color?
  • Do you have large moles (more than 2 inches in diameter)?
  • Have you noticed any new moles on your body?
  • Is there a history of skin cancer in your family?
  • Did you already have a melanoma?
  • Have you noticed any changes in your moles?

Using the “ABCDE” rule can also help you to recognize suspicious moles during self-evaluation.

ABCDEs of melanoma:

  • A for Asymmetry
  • B for Borders that are irregular, jagged, or blurred
  • C for Color variation
  • D for Diameter larger than the head of a pencil eraser
  • E for Evolving size, shape, color, bleeding, or other concerning symptoms

If you have observed one or more of the signs above, you should speak with your primary care physician about getting mapped.

How do I schedule a mole mapping session?

Using the latest version of the FotoFinder, UT Health Austin dermatologists perform mole mapping for patients and the general public. To schedule a discussion about whether mole mapping is right for you or for more information, make an appointment with UT Health Austin by calling 1-833-UT-CARES (1-833-882-2737) or visiting online here.