Overview of dermoscopy
- Ashfaq A Marghoob, MD
Ashfaq A Marghoob, MD
- Attending Physician
- Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
- Natalia Jaimes, MD
Natalia Jaimes, MD
- Attending Physician
- Aurora Skin Cancer Center and Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana, Medellín, Colombia
Dermoscopy is a noninvasive, in vivo technique primarily used for the examination of pigmented skin lesions; however, it can also assist observers in assessing many amelanotic lesions. Dermatoscopy, epiluminescence microscopy, incident light microscopy, and skin-surface microscopy are synonyms.
Dermoscopy is performed with a handheld instrument called a dermatoscope. The procedure allows the visualization of subsurface skin structures in the epidermis, dermoepidermal junction, and upper dermis; these structures are usually not visible to the naked eye [1-3]. The dermoscopic images may be photographed or recorded digitally for storage or sequential analysis.
The basic principles of dermoscopy will be discussed in this topic. The dermoscopic diagnosis of skin lesions, including those in special anatomic areas, dermoscopy of nail pigmentations, and algorithms used for skin cancer triage are discussed separately.
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