What is dermatoscopy?
Dermatoscopy is a procedure to examine skin lesions with the help of a device called a dermatoscope.
What is a dermatoscope?
The dermatoscope is an illuminated hand-held optical system which produces a magnification of up to ten times. Observation is usually performed with a single eye (monocular).
Why is dermatoscopy performed?
Skin lesions are clinically examined for size, shape and colour, but to the naked eye these features are often common to different types of lesions. Dermatoscopy provides a magnified view to help identify certain characteristics of lesions and make a more accurate diagnosis. This can help in the early identification of malignant lesions and reduce unnecessary referrals or skin surgery.
What kind of skin lesions are identified by dermatoscopy?
Dermatoscopy can identify skin lesions such as melanomas, naevi, dermatofibroma, warts, angiomata, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.
Are there more advanced forms of dermatoscopy?
Stereomicroscopy allows binocular observation and produces a magnification of up to 80 times. Videodermatoscopy is an advanced optical system where a probe is placed over a skin lesion and a magnified illuminated view is observed on a colour monitor.
Dermatoscopy may utilise polarised or nonpolarised light for observation. When using regular (non-polarised) light, a gel or liquid is usually applied over the lesion to provide better visibility. Polarized light helps your doctor visualise vascular lesions better.