Dermatoscopy or dermoscopy is a diagnostic method for observing skin changes the with a dermatoscope, an instrument that enhances the field of view with polarized or unpolarized light, and has the primary meaning in evaluating pigmental changes on the skin. It is used after a clinical examination, and allows observation of the epidermal and deeper structures of the upper dermis. It helps the dermatologist distinguish melanocytic from non-melanocytic changes, and has the greatest meaning in early diagnosis of melanoma.

Melanoma is a malignant tumor of the skin that can be caused by a malignant transformation from the birthmark or as a change on the skin that hasn’t been there before. Melanoma becomes potentially curable if it is detected early and healed in early stage, and unlike other cancers, it gets relatively easy detected by regular skin examinations.

Dermatoscopy is a help in distinguishing different tumors on the skin (keratosis, dermatofibroma, hemangioma, Basal Cell Carcinoma, or planocellular carcinoma, and other changes). A dermatological examination helps us diagnose the type of change and determine when a particular change needs to be removed.

Digital dermatoscopy enables monitoring of suspicious birthmarks that change over time, with each examination photos are stored and compared with the previous ones, and in the event of certain change in the observed lesion, an indication for its removal is set.

An examination of birthmarks is recommended once a year, and for people with higher risk more often according to the advice of a dermatologist.

Particularly important is the monitoring method for people who have increased risk of melanoma, and these are:
Atypical (dysplastic) neurosis syndrome,
The history of the disease due to melanoma or other skin cancer (or someone in their family),
A large number of birthmarks on the body,
A light complexion and they are generally very sensitive to exposure, to the sun (redheaded persons, with freckles),
Sunburns that have occurred in childhood and adolescence,
Exposure to UV radiation due to profession or hobby chronically.

With phenotypic characteristics, the application of adequate sun protection is considered to be an important parameter for reducing the risk of developing malignant tumors of the skin. Every year more new cases of skin cancer are diagnosed than all other carcinoma together. According to literature, five percent of all cancers in men and four percent of all cancers in women are melanomas. Melanoma is the most common carcinoma of individuals in the age group of 25-29 years.
Most cell mutations in melanoma are caused by UV radiation. The risk of developing melanoma is doubled if the person at any age had sunburn five or more times. Furthermore, if the burns with the development of blisters as a consequence of exposure to UV radiation occurred during childhood and adolescence, only one such episode doubles the risk of melanoma.
In case of spotting changes in the birthmark, in the sense of occurrence of asymmetry, irregularities of the edges, change of color or increase in the diameter of the birthmark, in case of bleeding or itching, be sure to contact the dermatologist for consultation.


Word of doctor

Prim. PhD Vesna Jelić

Dermatological examination is a compulsory part in preparing both for invasive and non-invasive treatments that we perform within our clinic. Of course, within the ambulance, we provided you with all kinds of dermatovenerology examinations, reviewing and monitoring changes on the dermatoscope.

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