Dermatoscopy (epiluminescent microscopy) is a fast, non-invasive, high-accuracy diagnostic method that is used to examine the superficial structural details of the skin.
It is a method used in the early diagnosis of skin tumors and in the identification of dysplastic skin pigmented lesions, with a risk of malignant transformation.
A number of factors can lead to the appearance of new skin lesions or to the modification of pre-existing skin lesions, such as: prolonged and repeated exposure to ultraviolet rays without applying creams with UV protection factor with SPF 50+, genetic predisposition, hormonal influences.
Dermatoscopy allows the visualization and examination of all pigment lesions, which can be evaluated and diagnosed as follows:
- benign lesions (no risk of tumor transformation);
- atypical / dysplastic lesions (with potential risk of tumor transformation, tumor precursor lesions);
- malignant lesions (various types of skin tumors).
Following the dermatoscopic examination, the specialist doctor makes a map of all the pigmentary lesions, which will be completed during each medical check-up that is recommended to be performed at an interval of 6 months.
Following the identification of a potentially dysplastic or malignant nevus, the specialist will recommend to the patient the excision of the lesion and the histopathological examination, indispensable for the definite diagnosis.
This method offers the possibility to identify precancerous lesions, tumors in the early stages, to make the differential diagnosis between different types of skin tumors.
Dermatoscopic evaluation is recommended in the following situations:
- people with light skin, blond hair and blue eyes and numerous nevi or sunspots;
- people with dysplastic nevi;
- people with a personal or family history of malignant melanoma;
- people who practice prolonged and periodic exposure to ultraviolet rays, who have not used sunscreens and who have frequently suffered sunburn;
- in the case of nevi (moles) that have changed color, shape, size, texture and have grown rapidly (in a few weeks-months) or have been traumatized.