Dermoscopy for Skin Cancer Detection

Skin cancer dermoscopy is a non-invasive examination of the skin surface with a handheld magnifying glass that has a light source (often polarized). Some dermatoscopes have additional features that modify the light and image. It involves a dermatologist examining skin lesions with a dermatoscope. When a dermatoscope is used by experienced dermatologists, it can help detect and diagnose skin cancer. Initially, dermatoscopes were primarily used to help diagnose pigmented lesions and melanomas, however, they are now often used routinely for all sorts of skin lesions and conditions.

Illustration of Dermoscopy

Dermoscopic Features

Some of the features that your dermatologist will be looking for with a dermatoscope include:

  • The substructure of the lesion, the pigment network, and how the pigment is organised and distributed across the lesion. This may include lines, dots, clods, and areas without structure or pigment.
  • Whether the substructure is symmetrical or asymmetrical and the extent of how chaotic or disordered the lesion is.
  • The presence of blood vessels, telangiectasia, and their shape and distribution.
  • Other features such as keratin (scale), cysts, and fissures.

Dermoscopy at Skintel

This simple appointment is an in-depth evaluation of your skin that’s carried out by a specialist dermatologist to ensure you have the most thorough examination available for skin cancer detection. Our specialists provide the utmost professionalism and to make you feel comfortable, we also provide a specialised gown you can wear during your examination.

Dermoscopy of basal cell carcinoma (BCC) under a dermatoscope.
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Photo of melanoma dermoscopy under a dermatoscope.
<a href=articlesmelanoma target= blank rel=noopener title=>Melanoma<a>
Photo of melanoma dermoscopy
<a href=articlesmelanoma target= blank rel=noopener title=>Melanoma<a>
Dermoscopy photo of squamous cell carcinoma in situ (SCCis) under a dermatoscope.
<a href=articlessquamous cell carcinoma target= blank rel=noopener title=>Squamous cell carcinoma<a> in situ SCCis

Frequently Asked Questions

Is dermoscopy painful?

Having a skin cancer dermoscopy by a dermatologist is not a painful procedure at all. They may apply some very low-level pressure when using the dermatoscope on your skin.

Is dermoscopy safe?

Having a Dermoscopy is a very safe process. It is a simple procedure that involves a dermatologist looking over your skin surface for suspicious patches of skin or other signs of melanomas with a handheld magnifying glass.

How long does a dermoscopy take?

Generally, a skin cancer dermoscopy takes anywhere up to 30 minutes. It all depends on your body. If you have many concerning lesions, they may need some extra assessment time.

What does skin cancer look like under a dermatoscope?

There are many different aspects of how a skin cancer can look under a dermatoscope. Some of these include irregularity in blotches, spots, streaks, regression structures, atypical networks, and possibly atypical vascular patterns. A dermatologist is the best specialist to see for this basic procedure. It must be noted that to diagnose skin cancer, a biopsy must be taken.