What is skin cancer dermoscopy?
Dermoscopy is a skin examination technique used to evaluate skin growths as well as pigmented skin lesions, without the need for surgery. The accuracy of the technique is dependent on the operator’s experience, and can help facilitate the diagnosis of potentially fatal skin cancers such as melanoma.
The use of dermoscopy involves advanced lens magnification together with an intense lighting structure incorporated in a portable handheld instrument known as a dermatoscope. This instrument reveals skin structures and patterns and can be attached to computers or smartphones for transmitting images.
Some techniques used in dermoscopic interpretation would include pigmentation colour and structure. In terms of colours, a trained dermatologist will pick up hues in pigmented lesions ranging from black, brown, red, blue, grey, yellow and white. Some tips on patterns and structures that dermatologists specialising in skin cancers would involve determining if a growth has the following features of asymmetry, heterogeny, uniformity. Dermoscopic examination also gives clues to keratin on the skin surface, blood vessels, borders, ulceration which can be signs of skin cancers.
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