What is Dermoscopy?
Dermoscopy is a noninvasive, state-of-the-art method for diagnosing all kinds of skin lesions and skin conditions. In dermatoscope, it allows the in vivo examination of colours and microstructures of the dermo-epidermal junction, the epidermis, and the papillary dermis not visible to the naked eye. Most dermatoscope magnify the skin tenfold and provide a polarizing light for seeing below the surface. Several medical supplies provider, such as Emech Medical Supplies, provides highly effective and efficient dermatoscopes that help clinicians to detect skin cancer.
Traditionally, dermatoscopes are specifically designed to used by dermatologists to allow them to see details a physician cannot see with the naked eye. But not all dermatologist use dermoscopy, as it requires special training. By allowing your physician to get a better look at your skin, dermoscopy enables your physician to identify lesions that are benign which helps avoid unnecessary biopsies.
More importantly, the dermoscopy makes it possible to find skin cancers before they spread and help identify suspicious lesions that are not skin cancer and don’t need a biopsy. By increasing the sensitivity and specificity for skin cancer, fewer skin cancers are missed and fewer unnecessary biopsies are performed.
For instance, melanoma treatment has a ninety-eight per cent cure rate if it is caught in its earliest form, but if it’s not caught early and it spreads, the survival rate at five years goes down below twenty per cent so I believe strongly in this life-saving technology.
The evaluation of definitive distinguishing patterns related to the dermoscopy structures and distribution of colours can better identify a benign or malignant pigmented skin condition. It is very helpful to attach the dermatoscopes to a smartphone or a camera to see a larger image on the screen and to capture the image for review during the patient visit and after a biopsy result is available.
While using the dermatoscope is not one hundred per cent accurate, it may help the physician to formulate a more complete list of diagnosis or steer the evaluation towards your way from a biopsy.
How Does Dermoscopy Work?
Basically, dermoscopy is a medical evaluation of the skin surface using a device called dermatoscope. During the assessment, the pigmented skin area will be covered with a liquid, such as ultrasound gel or alcohol, to reduce the reflectivity of the skin. The liquid interface will likewise enhance the clearness of the stratum corneum, allowing transparent visualization of specific structures of the epidermis, the papillary dermis and the dermo-epidermal junction.
After applying the appropriate amount of liquid to the skin, the device can now be placed on top of the lesion and gently pressed against the skin; it is essential that enough pressure is applied to phase out air bubbles. There are three types of dermoscopic techniques currently utilised which include:
(1) classic or standard contact;
(2) polarized contact; and
(3) polarized noncontact
Reports have shown that polarized dermoscopy provides a higher sensitivity for suspecting skin cancer due to its specification to magnify vascular and crystalline structures. On the other hand, non-polarized dermoscopy enhance particularity as it permits better visualisation of other structures commonly detected in benign lesions. Generally, both polarized and nonpolarized dermoscopy produce complementary information.
Benefits of Dermoscopy
Beyond its non-invasive nature, dermoscopy offers a diverse range of benefits such as portable, affordable purchase options, enhanced diagnosis accuracy, enhanced image magnification, and polarizing imaging.
Equipping dermatologists with dermoscopy tools enable them to view with higher resolution images of their patient’s skin for optimized diagnosis outcomes while lessening the risks related to undetected skin cancer cases or unnecessary biopsies. Other benefits of dermoscopy include:
- Uncomplicated Monitoring of Potential Treatments
- Lack of Tissue Staining
- Ability to Check Tissue in Its Natural State
- Inspection of Larger Areas Affected
- Reduced Trauma to Patient’s Skin
In the past few years, the incidence rate of cutaneous melanoma has increased more significantly than for any other cancer. Menacingly, advanced melanoma cannot be cured by treatment in most cases but some can help alleviate the pain and help a patient live longer.
Combined with a thorough skin cancer examination, dermoscopy is saving lives every day as presently, detecting melanoma in its initial stage is only the best factor for complete recovery.