What is Dermatoscopy?
Dermatoscopy (also known as dermoscopy or epiluminescence microscopy) is the examination of skin lesions with a dermatoscope. This traditionally consists of a magnifier (typically x10), a non-polarised light source, a transparent plate and a liquid medium between the instrument and the skin, and allows inspection of skin lesions unobstructed by skin surface reflections. Modern dermatoscopes dispense with the use of liquid medium and instead use polarised light to cancel out skin surface reflections.
This instrument is useful to dermatologists in distinguishing benign from malignant (cancerous) lesions, especially in the diagnosis of melanoma.
What are advantages of Dermatoscopy?
With doctors who are experts in the specific field of dermoscopy, the diagnostic accuracy for melanoma is significantly better than for those dermatologists who do not have any specialized training in dermatoscopy. Thus, with specialists trained in dermoscopy, there is considerable improvement in the sensitivity (detection of melanomas) as well as specificity (percentage of non-melanomas correctly diagnosed as benign), compared with naked eye examination. The accuracy by dermatoscopy was increased up to 20% in the case of sensitivity and up to 10% in the case of specificity, compared with naked eye examination.
What are uses of Dermatoscopy?
- The typical application of dermatoscopy is early detection of melanoma.
- Digital dermatoscopy (videodermatoscopy) is used for monitoring skin lesions suspicious of melanoma. Digital dermatoscopy images are stored and compared to images obtained during the patient’s next visit. Suspicious changes in such a lesion are an indication for excision. Skin lesions, which appear unchanged over time are considered benign.
- Aid in the diagnosis of skin tumors – such as basal cell carcinomas, squamous cell carcinomas,cylindromas, dermatofibromas, angiomas, seborrheic keratosis and many other common skin tumors have classical dermtoscopic findings.
- Aid in the diagnosis of scabies and pubic louse. By staining the skin with India ink, a dermatoscope can help identify the location of the mite in the burrow, facilitating scraping of the scabetic burrow. By magnifying pubic louse, it allows for rapid diagnosis of the difficult to see small insects.
- Aid in the diagnosis of warts. By allowing a physician to visualize the structure of a wart, to distinguish it from corn, callouses, trauma, or foreign bodies. By examining warts at late stages of treatment, to assure that therapy is not stopped prematurely due to difficult to visualize wart structures.
- Aid in the diagnosis of fungal infections. To differentiate “black dot” tinea, or tinea capitis (fungal scalp infection) from alopecia areata.
- Aid in the diagnosis of hair and scalp diseases, such as alopecia areata, female androgenic alopecia, monilethrix, Netherton syndrome,and woolly hair syndrome.Dermoscopy of hair and scalp is called trichoscopy.
- Determination of surgical margin of hard to define skin cancers. Examples would be Bowen’s disease, superficial basal cell carcinomas, and lentigo malignas. These tumors have very indistinct margins. By allowing the surgeon to correctly identify the true extent of the tumor, repeat surgery often is decrease
What kind of Dermatoscope is used at Pulastya Skin Clinic?
We at Pulastya Skin Clinic use Handyscope system by Fotofinder. It converts iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S into a digital dermatoscope for skin examinations. It allows us to take brilliant polarized mole pictures of up to 20X magnification and to save them in the password protected App. Thus handyscope lifts handheld dermoscopy to a new quality level. Geman innovation in dermoscopy and the first of its kind in the world!
What’s special about Dermatoscopy at Pulastya Skin Clinic?
Handyscope combines digital dermoscopy with mobility and communication technology. We can use all the iPhone’s connectivity features and securely e-mail your photos across the globe with just a tap. Doctor can email you the dermatoscopy images to you for your future reference thereby taking the skin care to next level.