Any sudden change in the appearance of moles should be taken seriously. People who have more than 50 moles, people with fair skin, those with family history of skin cancer and people who have suffered sunburns in childhood or later in life all present a risk groups needed to be regularly checked by dermatologist.
Dermatoscopy (or dermoscopy) is a mandatory diagnostic method when checking and following up moles. It’s a link between standard clinical examination of moles and their histopathological interpretation when removed surgically.
Dermatoscopy allows us to analyze the structure of the pigment and pigmented changes throughout the layers of skin, which is impossible with the naked eye. Thus, dermatoscopy expands standard visual diagnosis of moles and allows a deeper examination of pigmented changes and not only their surface. Because of that in modern days mole checkup is no longer considered comprehensive without a dermatoscopy.
Modern dermatoscope enables digital storage of images for later monitoring.
Value of dermatoscopy is in early detection of changes that indicate a specific atypia (deviations from the norm) and it can be used for melanocytic and nonmelanocytic skin changes.
Dermatoscopy demands experienced physician and intensive training with daily use of dermatoscope in practice.