What Is Dermoscopy?

Dermoscopy is a technique that can be used to detect skin cancer. Dermoscopy is a technique that uses high-quality magnifying lenses(x10) to get a close-up examination of the skin’s surface. Unlike a standard screening, dermoscopy is able to get a proper image using skin surface microscopy to help doctors detect unusual changes at earlier stages. As a result of continued advances in research, doctors can now not only keep track of a person’s skin lesions or tumors, but provides as a great aid in diagnosing melanomas and other skin cancers in its early stages.

During the appointment, Dr’s  Ben or Lize would use a high-quality tool called a dermoscope to perform the dermoscopy. Using the dermoscope, your doctor will examine your skin’s surface, noting anything unusual. Depending on the patient’s skin structure and history, doctors will typically perform polarized dermoscopy, as well as non-polarized dermoscopy.

Non-Polarized Dermoscopy

When examining a patient’s skin, a doctor may approach the appointment with non-polarized dermoscopy. Non-polarized dermoscopy uses lights to provide a brighter illumination of the skin, in order to get an accurate image. Because of the illumination that non-polarized dermoscopy requires for an accurate picture, the procedure is completed using direct contact with the skin. In general, non-polarized dermoscopy is more commonly used to examine the more superficial layers, including the epidermis and dermo-epidermal junction.

Polarized Dermoscopy

Polarized dermoscopy, on the other hand, takes a slightly different approach than non-polarized dermoscopy. If a doctor needs to get a closer look with less lighting that could alter the look of a mole, he may try polarized dermoscopy. How exactly does a doctor know when to use this approach? If the skin structure is showing unusual signs on a deeper level within the skin that cannot be measure using a non-polarized approach, doctors used a polarized approach to get in order to get the most accurate look at the area. This approach is typically used when doctors are suspicious of problems that are deeper in the skin structure.