The dermatoscopy is a non-invasive procedure, that is usually used to examine cutaneous pigmentary lesions. Currently, the applicability of this method is recognised for its efficiency when it comes to the evaluation of amelanotic lesions and other non-tumorous cutaneous afflictions. This procedure is done with a dermatoscope. This equipment allows the doctor to observe closely the cutaneous structures located in the epidermis, dermoepidermic junction and superficial dermis. These structures are not visible to the unaided eye. Dermatoscopic images can be photographed and saved in a digital format so that future comparative analysis will be possible.
The colours and the structures that are being observed are closely associated with the quantity, distribution and localization of the melanin, vascular structures, collagen and keratin.
Elements such as pigmentary web, negative web, pseudopods, globules are characteristics of melanocytic lesions. Instead, the aspect of gyri e sulci, pseudocomedonian openings, milia-like cysts are suggestive for seborrheic keratosis.
For clinicians this method represents a more efficient way in diagnosing skin cancer and it reduces the number of unnecessary biopsies. The dermatoscopy is very useful when it comes to patients who exhibit melanocytic atypical formations, that imply a higher risk of becoming melanoma.