Dermatology 101: What is a dermatoscope?

The dermatoscope is a specialized instrument which uses a magnifying lens in conjunction with a polarized light source to allow close inspection of suspicious skin lesions.  

The dermatoscope is an excellent tool that can complement clinical judgement to assist in the identification and discovery of malignant skin lesions.

Studies have supported what is obvious to dermatologists, that dermatoscopes can increase accuracy in the identification of malignant skin lesions.  This effect is most significant for experienced examiners trained in its use. Dermatologists receive this type of training in their residency.

If you have a suspicious or concerning skin lesion your dermatologist will likely uses this device to help decide if a biopsy is necessary.


Representative of a nevus (mole) image from Dermoscopy.co.uk

Representative of a nevus (mole) image from Dermoscopy.co.uk

Dermatoscope

Dermatoscope