dermatoscopes - epiluminescence imaging dermoscopy

Home  l  Links  l  Disclaimer  l  Contact Us  l  Privacy Policy

What is skin imaging

What is a dermatoscope
Advantages of a dermatoscope

Dermatoscope history

Dermatoscope uses

Dermatoscope prices

Dermatoscope application techniques

Dermatoscope lighting techniques
Dermatoscopic skin structures
ABCDE melanoma algorithm
Melanoma cancer evaluation
Hair and scalp evaluation
Dermatoscopy in dark skin
Dermatoscopes as disease vectors

Dermatoscope books


Welcome to

Dermatoscopes, or dermoscopes, are useful tools used by dermatologists to help with examining the skin. At its most simple, a dermatoscope is a hand held optical device, much like a magnifying glass, with a light source attached. The dermatologist places the optical eyepiece over the area of skin of interest and using the built in light he/she can view the skin in great detail. This clear view of the skin can help with diagnosing skin cancers, particularly melanomas and differentiating melanoma skin cancer from moles or more benign pigmented nevi.

The advantages of using a dermatoscope are three fold. First, they help to differentiate melanocytic lesions from nonmelanocytic and malignant lesions from nonmalignant. This enables malignant melanoma skin cancer to be diagnosed at an earlier and much more treatable stage. This in turn helps to avoid unnecessary surgery and improves patient morbidity and mortality. Second, dermoscopy can be used to justify a case for surgical excision. This can be particularly important for dermatologists operating in a HMO environment where it protects the dermatologist and the patient from less experienced pathologists! Third, a common complaint of patients attending dermatology clinics is that they feel they were not properly examined. In part this is in the nature of dermatology where there are relatively few diagnostic tests that can be performed. However, examination with a dermatoscope can reassure the patient that they have received a thorough skin examination.

Dermatoscopes or dermoscopes are a popular accessory for dermatologists in European countries. Notably however, only about 25 percent of dermatologists in the USA currently use a dermatoscope despite the proven efficacy in aiding diagnosis of melanoma skin cancers. One study conducted a meta-analysis of medical journal articles on the use of dermatoscopes and demonstrated that the diagnostic accuracy of dermoscopy is significantly better than the use of the naked eye by up to 49 percent - depending on the experience of the examiner. Considering melanoma skin cancer is one of the most aggressive and least treatable cancers, improving diagnostic accuracy with by using a dermatoscope can save lives! Hopefully the use of dermatoscopes in US clinics will improve in the near future.

Dermatoscopes dot com is a web site dedicated to providing information on dermatoscopy and hopefully promoting the wider use of dermatoscopes!

Home  l  Links  l  Disclaimer  l  Contact Us  l  Privacy Policy

2004 - All rights reserved.