The Center for Dermatology Care is one of the first to offer Digital Epiluminescence Microscopy (DELM) or Digital Dermoscopy, a form of technology that helps to identify skin cancers at an early age and minimize the need for unnecessary biopsies. This innovation makes early skin cancer detection and diagnosis at our Thousand Oaks practice more effective and more comfortable.
This high-tech instrument utilizes a hand-held microscope that is held against the skin surface. The microscope contains two polarized lenses that help to cut out light that is reflected from the skin surface and allows more light to penetrate the skin. As a result, features of a pigmented lesion can be seen up to 0.8 mm beneath the skin surface, allowing identification of characteristics that distinguish benign from malignant lesions. The dermoscopy image is magnified 30 times and displayed on a computer monitor. The image is digitally stored in the computer and allows side-by-side comparisons of a suspicious spot over time, making it easier to distinguish any subtle malignant changes in a pigmented lesion.
The digital dermoscopy machine is known as Molemax and is helping to save lives by detecting melanoma as soon as possible, in some cases even before the usual clinical features of melanoma are apparent to the doctor. Another added benefit is the ability to determine when a lesion does not have to be removed surgically, avoiding unnecessary surgery and the resultant scarring.
This safe diagnostic procedure takes about 45 minutes to complete and is covered by some insurance carriers. The procedure is recommended on an annual basis for patients with a personal or family history of melanoma or for patients who have a number of atypical appearing pigmented lesions.
If you would like to learn more about advanced options for skin cancer screening in Thousand Oaks, click here to request a consultation with one of our providers. Or you can call The Center for Dermatology Care at (805) 497-1694 and one of our helpful staff members will schedule your appointment.