The technology that leaves nothing undetected
In the June edition of the ELLE magazine, the SKIN dermatologist, Ms Katja Gorenšek, M.D., talked about the examination of skin spots and skin cancer prevention. You can read her advice here.
It is advisable to carefully observe pigment spots on the body. In this way, skin cancer, particularly melanoma, can be diagnosed early. Digital dermatoscopy is an intelligent method for monitoring individuals at high risk. If melanoma is diagnosed early, the likelihood of successful treatment increases significantly.
Birthmarks are stable and usually don’t grow or change. On the other hand, a melanoma eventually changes and grows. A method for the early detection of melanoma was developed several years ago. It is called digital dermatoscopy and is performed in two steps. The first step includes total body photography or total body mapping. The second step is digital dermatoscopic imaging of each birthmark as determined by a dermatologist.
First, the skin on the whole body is photographed (mapped). This includes systematic examination and recording of all the birthmarks from head to toe. At the first examination, basic imaging of the skin on the entire body is performed, which enables future comparison and new or changing lesions can be detected in future examinations. In the second phase, digital dermatoscopy is performed, which enables high resolution imaging of the birthmarks. This is the most sensitive method for an early detection of melanoma and enables early detection of melanoma even when no specific criteria are present and when prognosis is relatively good.
A dermatoscopic camera is used to photograph each mark that the dermatologist had decided to monitor. At the next check-up, the dermatologist will display the birthmarks and compare them. The doctor will then determine whether any small changes have developed since the last examination that could, for example, point to rosacea, even if they lack indications for melanoma according to the ABCDE criteria or the standard dermatoscopic measures. The instrument itself analyses photos and points to any new birthmarks and changes in the existing ones. In this way, melanoma can be detected earlier compared to the examination of birthmarks and dermatoscopy alone.
Monitoring with digital dermatoscopy can be short-term or long-term. If it is short-term, we monitor a single birthmark that is of concern to the patient, but shows no melanoma signs when examined by a dermatologist. Long-term monitoring is performed in persons with a large number of birthmarks or persons with a personal or family history of melanoma.
Digital dermatoscopy is painless and systematic and in the hands of a SKIN centre specialist it really is the best method to analyse the state of skin marks.
At the SKIN centre we use an advanced imaging system called FotoFinder, which provides fast and complete mapping of the total body and of each birthmark. It is of the utmost importance that experienced SKIN specialists know how to use the technology, which is by itself able to analyse birthmark changes and detect new ones. It is the best method to monitor the skin with many birthmarks.
We carry out single examinations of skin spots also by using classic dermatoscopy.
- Examination of birthmarks with digital dermatoscopy – EUR 110