Dermoscopy course to review basics, highlight new uses

Dermoscopy from A to Z (C001)

Dermoscopy is a key tool dermatologists and other skin care providers use to diagnose skin cancers earlier. A full-day course on Saturday will explain the common and newer uses for dermoscopy, also known as dermatoscopy.

“People will learn the basics and see cases of benign and malignant lesions. They will learn ways to analyze what they see with dermoscopy in an organized way. They are going to learn basic criteria and algorithms to determine whether a melanocytic lesion is low, medium, or high risk,” said Robert H. Johr, MD, session director.

Even though the course will begin with the basics, it will quickly escalate to explain the role of dermoscopy techniques in newer uses, such as inflamoscopy and trichoscopy.

 Speaking a new language
“Dermoscopy is like a language. Providers need to speak the language correctly and learn how to analyze what they see with the technique in an organized way,” said Dr. Johr, clinical professor emeritus of dermatology at the University of Miami who works at Chapel Hill Dermatology in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

The course will start with the use of a two-step algorithm used to determine whether lesions are melanocytic or non-melanocytic. It will then use pattern analysis and a three-point checklist to determine which lesions are benign or malignant.

Evaluation and criteria critical to understanding
An evaluation of benign lesions will focus on melanocytic nevi, seborrheic keratoses, angiomas, and dermatofibromas, which have different dermoscopic criteria and patterns. A look at more dangerous lesions will include the many presentations of melanoma from superficial and nodular melanomas, as well as amelanotic melanomas and melanomas on the face and in the nails.

“One of the important themes of this course is that all of the presenters will point out the important dermoscopic criteria in each case,” Dr. Johr said. “My experience is that even the smartest, most motivated people who want to master the technique have trouble identifying the important criteria in lesions.”

New uses and developments
Aimilios Lallas, MD, MSc, PhD, a dermatologist from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, will explain how to use dermoscopy for inflammatory lesions, known as inflamoscopy, and on the scalp, known as trichoscopy.

“He will talk about newer uses of dermoscopy,” Dr. Johr said. “He has written articles on their use and is an expert on using it for diseases such as psoriasis, dermatitis, and lichen planus.”

The afternoon portion of the session will use several dermoscopic case presentations to examine pathologies from different parts of the world. It will also include a comprehensive criteria review and a self-assessment quiz.

“Seeing cases is the name of the game, and people will learn how to analyze what they see with this tissue-sparing, life-saving essential technique,” Dr. Johr said.

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