What is dermoscopy?



Dermoscopy is the use of a skin surface microscope called a Dermatoscope. to examine skin spots.  It uses ten times magnification which enables colours and structures to be seen.


Why have an examination by someone trained in dermoscopy?

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Using a Dermatoscope

The use of dermoscopy has shown to increase the accuracy of diagnosing melanomas.  One study showed that Doctors who were trained in and used dermoscopy picked up 79% of suspicious lesions.  Another group of Doctors used naked eye examination only to examine patients and they picked up only 54% of suspicious lesions that were present (1).  Melanomas are more likely to be identified and removed if dermoscopy is used, which can be life-saving.   Dermoscopy is also useful in diagnosing the commonest skin cancer BCCs (Basal Cell Carcinomas).

Melanoma viewed through a dermatoscope

What is involved in being examined?

An examination is done in around 5-10 minutes examining the skin whilst dressed in your underwear. Chaperones are welcome during the examination.



(1)  Argenziano et al.  Dermoscopy improves accuracy of primary care physicians to triage lesions suggestive of skin cancer.  J Clin Oncol. 2006 Apr 20;24(12):1877-82.