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Full skin examination with Dermoscopy

Naked eye vs Dermoscopy
Dermoscopy can show what is not visible under the naked eye

Dermoscopy uses a hand-held magnifying device combined with either the application of a liquid between the transparent plate of the device and the skin, or the use of cross- polarised light. It allows the visualisation of diagnostic features of skin lesions that are not seen with the naked eye.

Dermoscopy increases diagnostic accuracy and confidence in diagnosis, and reduces unnecessary excision of benign lesions. In expert hands it has been shown to improve the diagnosis of nearly all coloured lesions, including moles and melanoma. Training and utilisation of dermoscopy is recommended for clinicians routinely examining pigmented skin lesions. 

We have researched this technique for over two decades, and published many books, book chapters and journal articles on the subject.

Skin surveillance is recommended for patients identified to be at high risk of melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers (NMSC), including patients with a previous diagnosis of melanoma.  Who is at risk? :

  • Causes of melanoma and other skin cancers:

    • Unprotected exposure to UV radiation remains the single most important lifestyle risk factor for melanoma and other skin cancers.

    • UVA and UVB radiation contribute to skin damage, premature ageing of the skin and skin cancer.

    • Melanoma and Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) are associated with the amount and pattern of sun exposure, with an intermittent pattern carrying the highest risk. UV exposure in adulthood as well as in childhood contributes to BCC and melanoma risk.

    • Premalignant actinic keratoses and Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) are associated with the total amount of sun exposure accumulated over a lifetime.

    • Other risk factors for NMSC can include exposure to some chemicals (e.g. arsenic); radiation therapy and psoralen (PUVA) treatment for psoriasis; immunosuppressive therapy; and some rare genetic conditions predisposing people to skin cancer.

  • Risk factors for melanoma:

    • Multiple naevi (moles)

    • Multiple dysplastic naevi

    • Personal or family history of melanoma

    • Increasing age

    • High levels of intermittent sun exposure (e.g. during outdoor recreation or holidays spent outdoors)

    • Personal history of NMSC

    • Fair skin that burns easily, freckles and does not tan

    • Having fair or red hair and blue or green eyes

    • Immunosuppression and/or transplant recipients 

Basal-cell Carcinoma
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