With alarming statistics that 1 out of 2 Australians will get a skin cancer at some point in their life, it’s important that as a general practitioner I can assess and diagnose these lesions. To do so I use a dermascope or a dermatoscope. This is a device that looks at the surface of the skin with a magnifying glass and light.
Inside the Dermlite DL4 box you will find:
With me here is the dermlite DL4
- A leather carry case
- A USB charging cable
- A lens wipe
- 5 Ice caps - these are essential to prevent cross contamination between patients.
The dermascope has a 30mm viewing lens, with 10 x magnification. It has both polarised and non polarised light capabilities.
Polarised light allows us to assess the depth of structures.
In the non polarised mode we can inspect superficial skin layers - such as the dermo-epidermal junction. In the polarised mode we can inspect deeper skin layers including the dermo-epidermal junction and superficial dermis. The polarised light allows for the identification of blood vessels and pink colour. This increases sensitivity for diagnosing amelanotic melanomas or BCCs.
The non polarised light increases the specificity to identify milia like cysts (which are white) or comedo-like openings seen in seborrhoeic keratosis.
So being able to toggle between the two has a far more superior diagnostic capability.
The dermoscope allows for both contact and non contact on the skin, you may also use immersion liquid in the non-polarised setting.
On the side you can see another button which allows for pigment boost, when used this makes the colour of lesions pop for easier identification.
Just a word of caution, if you’re thinking of having a skin check after watching this video please choose your practitioner carefully. Some physicians will just use their eyes for a skin check, however, I would suggest going to someone who has detailed equipment because unfortunately as humans we haven’t yet learnt how to magnify our vision!
I’ll usually use the dermascope with my magnifying loupes to assess the skin closely and ensure that every centimetre is investigated thoroughly for a comprehensive skin check.
If you’ve not booked in for a skin check in the past year or are concerned that a lesion has changed in size, colour, shape or is itchy or bleeding please seek medical advice or pop by and see me in clinic.
I hope you’ve found this video useful and if you have any questions please drop me a line below in the comments section.
Take care and stay healthy 😘
Dr Nora 💉
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