Dermatoscopy or dermoscopy is a non-invasive diagnostic method for the identification of countless skin changes. Due to the zoomed skin image and the polarized source of light it allows spotting the details invisible to the naked eye and that are essential for distinction between pigmented and non-pigmented changes, mole monitoring and early detection of melanoma.
If a patient during the skin self-examination notices the appearance of new pigmented changes or any changes in already existing mole, a derm specialist examination is a must.
Risk Factors for Malignant Skin Tumors
- External – intense exposure to UV rays over a long period
- Internal – heredity and skin type
Clinical Signs Indicating Changes in Already Existing Mole
- Change of size – growth
- Change of shape and/or color
- Scab appearance and bleeding
- Sensibility changes
- Diameter larger than 7mm
If the patient has large number of moles, it is impossible to conduct biopsy for every lesion.
Dermatoscopy allows fast and non-invasive examination of any suspicious change and the photos could be saved in patient’s personal data base. Of course that it will never be 100% precise method and it could not replace histopathological examination, but it is undoubted that owing to this method the percentage of early detected and in time surgically removed skin tumors and melanoma is considerably increased.
Dermoscopy could help diagnosing atypical nevus, seborrheic keratosis, skin cancers, hemangioma, parasitosis and other changes on skin and skin derivatives (hair and nails).