What is Dermoscopy?
Dermoscopy (also known as epiluminescence microscopy), refers to the examination of the skin using skin surface microscopy, with a high quality magnifying lens and a powerful lighting system, allowing examination of skin structures, which are specifically correlated with histologic features. The identification of specific diagnostic patterns with regard to the distribution of colors and microstructures not visible to the naked eye, aid in the differentiation between melanocytic and non-melanocytic lesions as well as benign or malignant neoplasms. Because of the complexity involved, this methodology is usually performed by experienced clinicians.
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Why do we use Dermoscopy in skin cancer screening and diagnosis?
The early phase of melanoma is difficult to identify because melanoma can share many clinical features with an atypical nevus. Dermoscopy assessment has been reported to be more accurate than clinical evaluation by naked eye for the diagnosis of cutaneous melanoma.
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HEINE DELTA 20T® dermatoscope has a high-quality achromatic optical system that delivers crystal clear, glare-free and reflection-free, high-resolution images at 10 to 16× magnification, for a detailed view of even the smallest skin structures. The toggle function for switching between polarized and non-polarized illumination mode, allows the detection of specific skin structures important in the diagnosis of pigmented lesions. I use it for detailed examination of skin lesions during every skin examination.
Dermlite Lumio® is the ideal device for general skin exams where an in-depth, glare-free image of the skin is essential. With its 75 mm lens offering a magnification of 2x, the power of 40 bright-white LEDs (light emitting diodes), and cross-polarization, Lumio is a great tool for a variety of dermatological exams including varicose veins, pigmented skin lesions and hair follicles. I use it as an initial screening tool in all of my skin exams.
Dermlite Lumio UV®, a Woods lamp with a 75 mm lens offering a magnification of 2x, powered by 40 UV LEDs (light emitting diodes), is a great tool for a variety of examinations which require UV light. I use it primarily to discern pigmentation disorders such as vitiligo, tinea versicolor and melasma.
Barco’s digital skin imaging platform, Demetra® is based on multi-spectral imaging that uses different wavelengths of light to illuminate the skin lesion. As this new technology can reveal more details of skin lesions and specific skin structures such as pigment distribution and blood vessels (vasculature), it has the potential of early diagnosis of melanoma and other skin cancers, via the implementation of machine learning AI algorithms. I use it because of its superb image resolution and the ability to store superimposed sequential images of the same lesion over time for accurate comparison during follow up visits. The larger screen of the device allows real time viewing of the dermatoscopic image with the patient.