Introduction to Dermatoscopy

Ashley Miguel, PA-Cby Ashley Miguel, PA-C

After spending the past six months all bundled up, it makes sense to start a new season by having a full body skin exam. Many of us have a number of questionable skin growths that may have changed unnoticed over the winter months. At PD&CC Renton clinic, Dr. Erica Linnell and I both perform thorough head to toe skin exams utilizing a special instrument called a dermatoscope.

dermascopeThis hand held light device consists of a magnifier (typically x 10), by which questionable skin lesions can be examined in greater detail. The advantages of using a dermatoscope are numerous, but the most important is its enhanced accuracy for detecting melanoma. This means melanomas are found when smaller in size and earlier in their development, which correlates to a greater long term prognosis after treatment.

Dermatoscopes also help to rule out what does not need to be biopsied, thereby reducing unnecessary procedures on benign lesions. If you have any growths that have been changing in shape, border, color, size, or causing symptoms of itch, pain, or bleeding, I urge you to set an appointment to have a full body skin exam.

My name is Ashley Miguel, and I am a dermatology physician assistant with 5 years of experience using dermatoscopes as a daily part of my practice. I am currently accepting new patients and pride myself on in depth examinations and addressing all of my patient’s concerns. Make sure you are receiving the best care possible by seeing a dermatology medical professional who is trained in this technique.

You can contact our Renton office here or call 206-859-5777 to make an appointment.

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