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Investigative Dermatology >> Derma Scope

Dermatoscopy refers to the examination of skin by dermatologists and skin care professionals using a dermatoscope (also known as dermoscope and dermascope), which typically consists of a magnifier and a light source. The newest Dermatoscopes feature bright LED lights around the edge of the magnifying mirror.

How It Works

Dermatologists commonly use dermatoscopes to detect melanoma, in addition to increasingly using the tool to assess other skin conditions and analyzing pores. Dermatoscopes have a fixed head with one or more lenses to magnify the skin, with a light source inside the head or around the edge. Dermatologists often use an alcohol or oil solution between the magnifying lens and skin to reduce light scatter and glare, while improving visibility and clarity. She can then see through the stratum corneum, which is the bottom of the outermost layer of skin, for a detailed view of structures within skin that are often invisible to the naked eye.


When using dermatoscopy software in conjunction with dermatoscopes, dermatologists can map out pore diameter for patients and recommend a course of treatment. For example, if the dermatologist determines pore size is large, he can prescribe a treatment regimen to counteract the excess sebum and inflammatory acne that can occur in patients with large pores.


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