What is dermoscopy?
Dermoscopy is a specific technique for examining questionable skin lesions. The provider uses a small hand held microscope. This device is placed close to or lightly against the skin. Many features of the skin lesion can now be identified.
There are two main types of dermoscope. The first requires a fluid to be placed on the device before it is placed on the skin. The other type involves a group of polarizing lights around the lens of the instrument.
The concept behind dermoscopy is to remove surface reflections from the skin and to allow the provider to see features and structures under the surface.
How useful is it?
The unique features seen through the dermoscope have been carefully researched and better understood more recently. Research shows that many skin cancers can be identified earlier and more specifically with a dermoscope than without such an instrument.
More importantly, studies show that doctors skilled at using a dermoscope will not need to remove as many benign lesions in order to be sure they are not melanomas.
We feel dermoscopy is an essential skill for any doctor managing skin cancers, especially melanoma. Our providers at Florida Skin Center routinely use dermascopy during skin examinations to ensure a more complete, accurate evaluation.