While the stethoscope is an indispensable instrument for the cardiologist, dermatoscopy is the same for the dermatologist. If you are about to undergo this type of examination or it has been recommended to you, you probably have many questions about it.
But in reality, it is a very simple imaging technique that helps a lot with diagnosis of skin lesions.
What is it?
Dermatoscopy is an imaging technique focused on the skin. It helps the physician visualize microscopic or very small structures. In this way, he or she will be able to evaluate the origin of a skin lesion.
For example, a mole that is changing color could be closely evaluated. With this procedure, the dermatologist will be able to analyze the problem closely, and finally will be able to tell, even before doing a biopsy, whether the mole is something to worry about or not.
Why is a dermatoscopy performed?
Dermatoscopy is a procedure that explores the skin. It is very helpful in evaluating suspicious lesions, and is often used to rule out cases of skin cancer. In fact, it allows you to see the lesions up close and avoid a biopsy if it is not necessary.
Unlike a biopsy, it is non-invasive, painless and does not require anesthesia. And if the doctor realizes from the dermatoscopy that the skin lesion is benign, he will not have to subject the patient to a sample taking and the discomfort that this implies.
Dermatoscopy is mainly used for:
- Evaluate pigmented lesions. For example, in the case of moles that change color or size.
- Evaluate non-pigmented lesions. For example, white areas of the skin and its blood supply
- Helps differentiate skin cancer from benign lesions
In addition to being used to rule out skin cancer, it can also be used to evaluate other lesions. For example, in the case of skin infections or inflammation.
Although this procedure has many advantages, it also has limitations. In the end, it will always depend on the professional recognizing the structures and knowing how to interpret them.
It is also important to remember that dermoscopy may not detect skin cancer that is just starting. So the best way is to constantly prevent this from happening, by taking the right habits. However, dermatologists are aware of these limitations, especially those who constantly work with this type of imaging technique.
If you have concerns or any doubts about a mole or skin lesion, or if a dermatoscopy has been recommended, contact a qualified dermatologist near you.