November 15, 2021
By Dr Barry Leslie, Marewa Surgery
Why is it a good idea to improve your skills in dermoscopy? Well while the basic principles of dermoscopy are simple, becoming an expert with dermoscopy is difficult and requires a lot of practice!
Dermoscopy is essentially skin surface microscopy that is used as a tool to help diagnose pigmented lesions and non-pigmented skin lesions and increasingly helpful at identifying inflammatory dermatoses.
In expert hands, dermoscopy can help improve diagnostic accuracy (some studies estimate this to be ~35%) particularly with identifying early melanoma. It can also reduce the excision rate of benign lesions such as seborrhoeic keratoses and benign melanocytic naevi.
Dermoscopy involves a lot of pattern recognition and at first can be quite overwhelming to a beginner who may become overcautious and paradoxically excise more lesions than are necessary. So seeing lots of patients and practising dermoscopy at every opportunity is important. It’s not just about volumes, however, knowing what to look for is also key with dermoscopy. This is where Dermnet can be very helpful with their offering of free short dermoscopy CME modules where there are many dermoscopy stock photos as examples of various benign and malignant lesions. Dermnet also has quick modules on how to learn dermoscopy using the three-point checklist, pattern analysis and other algorithms for melanocytic lesions.
Have a look at Dermnet’s dermoscopy modules here and pick one or two to do every month to upskill or refresh your dermoscopy knowledge.
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