Dermoscopy in general dermatology: Practical tips for the clinician

A. Lallas, J. Giacomel, G. Argenziano, B. García-García, D. González-Fernández, I. Zalaudek, F. Vázquez-Lõpez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In addition to its well-documented value in improving the diagnosis of skin tumours, dermoscopy is continually gaining appreciation in the field of general dermatology. Dermoscopy has been shown to facilitate the clinical recognition of several inflammatory and infectious diseases, as well as their discrimination from skin tumours. Moreover, recent data indicate that it might also be profitable in assessing the outcome and adverse effects of various treatments. Application of dermoscopy should follow the standard procedure of acquiring information from patient history and clinically evaluating the number, location and morphology of the lesion(s). Four parameters should be assessed when applying dermoscopy in the realm of inflammatory and infectious diseases: (i) morphological vascular patterns; (ii) arrangement of vascular structures; (iii) colours; and (iv) follicular abnormalities, while the presence of other specific features (clues) should also be evaluated. It must be underlined that dermoscopic findings should always be interpreted within the overall clinical context of the patient, integrated with information from the history and the macroscopic examination. With new evidence continuously being gathered, the dermatoscope gradually acquires a role similar to the stethoscope of general practitioners, becoming an irreplaceable clinical tool for dermatologists. In this article, we provide a succinct summary of existing data on dermoscopy in general dermatology. Practical tips are suggested, which can assist clinicians in profitably utilizing and applying the available knowledge in their everyday practice. What's already known about this topic? Dermoscopy has well-documented value in improving the diagnosis of skin tumours. It is continually gaining appreciation in the field of general dermatology. What does this study add? We provide a succinct summary of existing data on dermoscopy in general dermatology. Practical tips are suggested, which can assist clinicians in profitably utilizing and applying the available knowledge in their everyday practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)514-526
Number of pages13
JournalBritish Journal of Dermatology
Volume170
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology
  • Medicine(all)

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    Lallas, A., Giacomel, J., Argenziano, G., García-García, B., González-Fernández, D., Zalaudek, I., & Vázquez-Lõpez, F. (2014). Dermoscopy in general dermatology: Practical tips for the clinician. British Journal of Dermatology, 170(3), 514-526. https://doi.org/10.1111/bjd.12685