Dermoscopy – non-invasive technique to diagnose malignant melanoma

Dermoscopy is a non-invasive technique that a medical dermatologist uses to help diagnose malignant melanoma, which is a type of skin cancer. It allows for the close evaluation of an abnormal area of skin that might otherwise be mistaken for a mole or another benign condition.

What to expect from dermoscopy

Your skin cancer dermatologist will examine the lesion with an instrument called a dermatoscope. It can magnify the area up to 10 times and uses polarized light to remove reflections from the surface of the skin that might make an accurate diagnosis difficult. The images of the area can then be processed digitally. The images are stored and compared to images taken later on by the dermatoscope. The dermatologist will be able to see any changes in the images that might alert him or her to a malignancy. If there are changes, the doctor can then perform a biopsy.

Diagnosing other skin cancer types with dermoscopy

Dermoscopy is not only used to find melanomas but other skin cancer types, like basal cell carcinomas. It can also be used to find skin cancers that are hard to detect, like Bowen's disease.

To learn more about our dermoscopy diagnosis method, or to schedule a consultation, contact us at any one of our Orange County dermatology offices.

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