Dermatoscopy is a skin examination by using a surface microscope, also referred to as epiluminoscopy, or epiluminescence microscopy. It is most commonly used for skin pigmentation lesions and plays a key role in the early detection of melanoma and pigmented basal cell carcinoma. It facilitates their differentiation from benign skin changes, avoiding unnecessary biopsies and excision of benign moles and sebaceous keratosis.
A dermatoscope is a device that, with good illumination and magnification of 10-14 times, allows for the visualization of deeper structures (pigments, capillaries) that are directly below the epidermis.
Apart from the diagnosis of pigment lesions, dermatoscopy plays an increasingly important role in the diagnosis of other changes and skin diseases characterized by specific dermoscopic signs.
Trihoscopy and onoscopy are diagnostic methods in which a dermatoscope is used in scalp and nail screening.