Using a dermoscope can help dermatologists diagnose melanomas that don't exhibit classic warning signs, says an expert
Using a dermoscope can help dermatologists diagnose melanomas that don't exhibit classic warning signs, says an expert.
"Everyone who does dermoscopy uses it for lesions that look clinically atypical," says Robert Johr, M.D., clinical professor of dermatology and pediatrics at the University of Miami, and a Boca Raton, Fla.-based private practitioner. "However," he says, "we saw seven cases in which we used dermoscopy on lesions that didn't look particularly worrisome clinically, and to our surprise diagnosed melanomas (submitted for publication)."
Melanoma incognito consists of lesions that lack clinical clues suggesting they might be high-risk, Dr. Johr says. "But if one looks at this type of lesion with dermoscopy," he says, "there might be clues that raise one's index of suspicion enough to warrant a histopathologic diagnosis."
To help colleagues diagnose melanoma incognito, Dr. Johr offers these tips:
In conclusion, Dr. Johr says, "One should use dermoscopy not only for clinically suspicious lesions, but also for lesions that don't appear suspicious. I do not believe that anyone who has taken the time to learn the technique would argue that it is not a better way to practice dermatology." DT
Disclosure: Dr. Johr reports no financial interests relevant to this article.
Dr. Johr will be director of WRK403 today, with David L. Swanson, M.D. speaking.