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
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.
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%.
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.