G Ital Dermatol Venereol 2015 Oct;150(5):521-31
Dermatology Clinic, University of Catania, A.O.U. Policlinico Vittorio Emanuele, Catania, Italy -
Dermatoscopy is a non-invasive technique that allows a rapid and magnified in vivo observation of the skin surface. By definition, it is performed with handheld devices (dermatoscopes) allowing X10 magnification. More expensive, computer-assisted digital systems (videodermatoscopes) may be equipped with lenses that ensure magnifications up to X1000; in this case the term videodermatoscopy is generally used. Dermatoscopy is mainly utilized for the evaluation of pigmented skin lesions, and has increasing applications in dermatology. In this paper the use of dermatoscopy in a variety of inflammatory (psoriasis, lichen planus, pityriasis lichenoides, rosacea, lichen sclerosus, Darier's disease, pigmented purpuric dermatoses) and infectious (human papillomaviruses infections, molluscum contagiosum, tinea capitis, tinea nigra, scabies, head and pubic lice, tungiasis, cutaneous leishmaniasis and cutaneous larva migrans) cutaneous disorders will be analyzed. In these conditions, dermatoscopy may assist the clinical diagnosis, reducing the need of semi-invasive or invasive procedures such as skin scrapings and/or biopsy. Depending on the disease, the choice to use low or high magnifications may be crucial. Dermatoscopy may also be useful for prognostic evaluation and monitoring of response to treatment, representing an important and relatively simple aid in daily clinical practice.