Dermoscopy means better doctors, happier patients

March 1, 2005

Miami Beach — Only 23 percent of U.S. dermatologists are evaluating lesions with tools and techniques collectively described as "dermoscopy."

Given that it's the standard of care in Europe and other countries, this is inexcusable, says Robert H. Johr, M.D., a clinical professor of dermatology and pediatrics at the University of Miami School of Medicine.

Invest in basics In the past, dermoscopy required use of an oil or fluid on the lesion to eliminate surface light reflection and illuminate the stratum corneum. Today, that's not necessary.

Hand-held instruments combine polarizing filters, LED lighting and magnifying lenses to reveal the epidermis, the dermo-epidermal junction and the papillary dermis. A significant learning curve comes into play because the colors and structures that show up are different from those seen with the naked eye.