Last major update: November 2008 - next update November 2009
Revised: 16 October 2009
Author: Nat Pernick, M.D., PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.
Copyright: (c) 2002-2009, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.
● Method of skin examination using an optical instrument with a light source
● Allows visualization of pigmentation patterns and skin structures deeper than can be seen with naked eye
● A link between clinical and histologic examination, permitting an earlier diagnosis (Int J Dermatol 2008;47:712)
● See also discussion under particular entities
● Also called dermatoscopy
● Useful to analyze pigmented skin lesions - benign lesions tend to have symmetrical dermoscopic structures and colors but malignant lesions tend to have irregular and atypical dermoscopic structures (J Dermatol 2006;33:513)
● Improves the ability of primary care physicians to accurately triage lesions suggestive of skin cancer (J Clin Oncol 2006;24:1877)
● Standardized reporting system has been recommended (J Am Acad Dermatol 2007;57:84)
● ABCDE criteria are commonly used: asymmetry, irregular borders, multiple colors, diameter >6 mm, enlarging lesion
● CASH algorithm (color, architecture, symmetry, homogeneity) may also be useful (J Am Acad Dermatol. 2007;56:45)
● Dermoscopic nevus type varies by skin type in white people (Arch Dermatol 2007;143:351)
● Recommended to use alcohol based gel as immersion fluid to prevent nosocomial infections (Dermatol Surg 2006;32:552)
Nevus associated with white patients Nevus associated with white patients
who always burn and never tan who tan easily and never burn
Reticular nevus in white patients
who may burn or tan
Image collections / lectures
End of Skin-Melanocytic Tumors > Dermoscopy
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