The importance of dermoscopy
In the last decades, the occurrence of melanoma has drastically increased, therefore we are trying to draw attention to the importance of birthmark screening. Examining birthmarks requires experience and expertise on the part of the doctor, because they often seem to be nothing more than a harmless mutation. Unfortunately, there is no exclusive indicator of melanomas, the doctor examines the presence of many factors.
When is birthmark screening especially advised?
- If you notice that one of your birthmarks changed or began to grow suddenly
- If you have many birthmarks (more than a 100)
- If you have a light skin type and eye colour (melanoma is more frequent for people with red hair and blue eyes)
- Occurrence of the disease in the family
What does the doctor examine during the screening?
- Explores potential risk factors. By asking questions, puts together a general picture
- Thoroughly examines the entire skin surface with a special magnifying glass (dermatoscope)
- Examines the pigmentedness and structure of the birthmarks
- Checks for birthmarks that are out of place regarding their size, shape, colour or location. This is very important, because in many instances, it is the difference from the other birthmarks that draws attention to a possible malignant mutation.
- If necessary, advises the removal of the birthmark.
About 30% of melanomas develop from existing birthmarks, others grow on intact skin. It is extremely important to notice changes. Everyone should self-check themselves every 3 months, and visit a specialist for a birthmark screening every year, even if there are no problems.
Book an appointment for a birthmark screening!