What is Digital Dermoscopy?

Dermoscopy is the visual examination and digital recording of the skin surface, performed to assess changes in pigmented lesions allowing for the early detection of skin cancer.

A high powered handheld device called a dermoscope (sometimes referred to as a dermatoscope) with magnifying optics assists in the visualization of subsurface skin structures that are not visible to the unaided eye.

perth skin cancer check

Ongoing high resolution digital documentation of these pigmented areas allows for even the most minor changes to be readily noticed.

Dr David has been expertly trained in dermoscopy and will closely examine any pigmented areas on your skin including moles, freckles, atypical naevi, seborrhoeic keratosis and more.

Skin cancer is the most diagnosed cancer in Australia each year.
It is estimated that 2 in 3 Australians are diagnosed with skin cancer by the age of 70 years1

What does it involve?

During your appointment, you will receive a full body scan looking for any moles and marks.

Each area will be assessed for the ABCDE of skin cancer detection:

  • Asymmetry
  • Border
  • Colour
  • Diameter
  • Evolving
  • Vascular
  • Border shape

Where necessary, a magnified, high resolution photograph is taken and displayed on screen for you to see. The image is saved to your secure personal file for later comparison and sharing with specialists if needed.

Do I need Digital Dermoscopy?

Australia receives some of the highest UV levels in the world with Perth experiencing a radiation intensity of between 3-12 all year round. Keeping in mind that sun protection is required when the index is at 3 or above, it is safe to say that every single person in Australia should have their skin professionally assessed at some point.

The Cancer Council Australia recommends skin examinations conducted by a doctor, using dermoscopy for the early detection of skin cancer2

Individuals at high risk of developing skin cancer are recommended to have Digital Dermoscopy every 6-12 months. This includes people with:

  • fair skin, a tendency to burn rather than tan, freckles, light eye colour, light or red hair colour
  • higher number of unusual moles
  • weakened immune system
  • a history of melanoma in the immediate family
  • previous personal experience of skin cancer2

If you don’t have any of the high risk factors then an initial skin check is beneficial and an estimated return date will be suggested, usually between 1-5 years.

How much does it cost?

A Digital Dermoscopy consultation, examination and photography with Dr David Main is $95 and Medicate rebates are available.

 

1. Cancer Council Australia. Skin cancer. Sydney: Cancer Council Australia, 2013. Available at https://www.cancer.org.au/about-cancer/types-of-cancer/skin-cancer.html (accessed 21 November 2019).
2. Cancer Council Australia. Position statement: Early detection of skin cancer. Sydney: Cancer Council Australia, 2019. Available at https://wiki.cancer.org.au/policy/Position_statement_-_Screening_and_early_detection_of_skin_cancer (accessed 21 November 2019).