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Dermoscopy

Dermoscopy is a very specialised and highly skilled method of skin cancer detection. It uses a special ‘microscope’ to examine moles and skin lesions. In skilled hands, this can help pick up early changes of melanoma. Our Skin Cancer doctors at My Skin Clinics in Brisbane are highly experienced in the use of dermatoscopes for early detection of skin cancer.

Important facts on Dermoscopy

  • Dermoscopy is a technique of examining skin lesions with a dermatoscope.
  • This technique magnifies and illuminates skin lesions.
  • Dermoscopy is ideally used for pigmented lesions (moles, melanoma etc) but can also be used for other lesions (other skin cancers like BCCs and benign lesions)
  • An experienced skin cancer doctor can detect specific patterns that help distinguish melanoma, moles and other lesions.
  • Features such as symmetry, structure, colors, distribution of pigment, borders and specific structures are analysed to distinguish benign from
    malignant lesions.

What is dermoscopy?

mole mapDermascopy is a highly skilled method to uncover colors and dimensions of pigmented skin lesions, thus increasing the effectiveness of picking up skin cancers, including melanomas and basal cell cancers.

How do Skin Cancer Doctors perform Dermatoscopy?

mole computer

Dermatoscopy (also known as dermoscopy or epiluminescence microscopy) is the examination of skin with a special magnifier using non-polarised light. Traditionally we use a transparent plate and a liquid medium between the dermatoscope and the lesion examined.

 

This allows inspection of skin lesions unobstructed by skin surface reflections. Modern dermatoscopes dispense with the use of liquid medium and instead use polarised light. With suspicious or changing lesions we capture the image on a camera and store this on a computer for future comparisons.

 

What types of skin cancers can be picked up on dermoscopy?

skin cancer sydneyThe most commonly picked up skin cancers (and skin lesions) on dermatoscopy include melanomas, dysplastic naevi, HMF or level one melanomas, basal cell cancers and solar keratosis.

What are the advantages of Dermatoscopy?

mole machine brisbane

Doctors who are trained in the specific field of dermoscopy, the diagnostic accuracy for melanoma is significantly better than for skin cancer doctors who do not have any specialized training in dermatoscopy.Thus, with specialists trained in dermoscopy, there is considerable improvement in the pick up rate of melanomas.

 

Compared with naked eye examination the accuracy by dermatoscopy increases melanoma pick up by 20%.

Is dermoscopy 100% accurate?

Absolutely not! Dermatoscopy adds an accurate tool in the management and diagnosis of skin cancers and melanomas, however is NOT 100% accurate. In skilled hands this procedure can add to the diagnosis or exclude non cancerous lesions during the skin examination.

How much does it cost to have my moles examined by dermoscopy?

checking-molesThe examination of moles with the use of a dermatoscope is included in the billing. You are NOT charged extra for this procedure.

How is dermatoscopy different from a skin biopsy?

mole scanDermatoscopy involves non- invasive monitoring of your skin or mole. A biopsy means that we take a tiny ‘piece’ of skin to send it off for testing under pathology. If dermatoscopic examination of your mole/s is suspicious, your skin cancer expert may request a biopsy for further testing.