Dermatoscopy, (sometimes called Dermoscopy) is the study of looking at the skin using a Dermatoscope.
Dermatoscopes are a tool which provide magnification and a light source. The light source often has both polarised and non polarised options. The two differrent light options allow us to visualise different features within a skin lesion (spot).
The dermatoscope used by someone with specific training allows the user to analyse a skin spot with more accuracy, therefore allowing us to diagnose Melanoma and Non-melanoma skin cancers better. The use of a Dermatoscope also allows us to exclude benign (harmless spots) more easily, therefore reducing unnecessary excisions.
The history of dermoscopy extends back to 1663 but it wasn't until 2001 that the first hand held polarised dermatoscope was produced.
An example of a Dermatoscope
At Western Skin Institute our doctors have the technology and training to be able to diagnose skin cancers, sometimes before they are obvious to the naked eye.