December 17, 2021

Dermoscopy – Body Mapping at Skin and Hair

In recent years there has been a sharp increase in skin cancer cases both globally and nationally. Raising the awareness of the Greek population regarding the prevention and early diagnosis of melanoma is of paramount importance, as we live in a country with intense sunshine. 

Promoting skin health is a key priority not only for Dermatologist – Skin Surgeon, Sotiris Theocharis but also for all medical and paramedical staff of Skin and Hair. We always focus on the patient’s health and create a sense of security and trust. Our primary concern is to inform our patients and make them aware of the preventive examinations, dermoscopy and body mapping. These are two diagnostic tests, which have a prominent role in the prevention of melanoma and other skin malignancies. 

Dermoscopy allows the observation and recognition of morphological elements from the epidermis to the papillary layer of the dermis. It is a painless examination for the patient, however, it requires knowledge, experience and specialization from the treating doctor. With the use of advanced systems and the help of light refraction and the most modern imaging devices, it is possible to analyze and distinguish skin lesions based on their location, color, shape, size, texture, and structure. 

The diagnostic value of dermoscopy is great and in it lies the possibility of early recognition of atypical, “invisible” forms of melanoma the confirmation of the clinical diagnosis when there is a differential diagnostic problem e.g. dysplastic nevus with early melanoma, the avoidance of unnecessary amputation surgeries and the possibility of periodic monitoring, through the advanced diagnostic systems (mapping – body scan). 

Mapping is an important diagnostic dermatological examination, during which digital imaging of existing nevi (olives) is performed throughout the body. The Dermatology Clinic Skin and Hair Medical Care has complete material equipment, consisting of two Foto Finder systems. 

More specifically, we have the most modern automated system, total body mapping, FotoFinder ATBM II Automated Total Body Mapping, which allows the recording, and detailed analysis of the skin and moles, saving time and creating high quality images which help diagnose new or modified clinical lesions. The system is the standard FotoFinder, worldwide, for safety in the early detection of skin cancer. 

The initial ATBM Automated Total Body Mapping procedure helps diagnose melanoma using the “two-step digital monitoring method”. The high-resolution medicam 1000 camera and the idealized dermoscope dynamic software of Foto Finder allow the microscopic examination of the nevi in  super-magnification, the comparison of the clinical-dermatoscopic image with the previous shot, as well as the marking of new lesions and changes. The results – images of the mapping are stored and can be compared in future reviews, providing information on possible changes of existing moles. 

Digital nevus mapping is considered necessary for people with multiple-dysplastic nevi, individual or family medical history of melanoma, permanently weakened immune system, history of sunburn, but is not limited to these populations. 

The multiple years of clinical and surgical experience of Dr. Sotiris Theocharis together with the ISO certified equipment of our clinic are our most important weapons in terms of timely detection of any changes in the skin, scalp and nails, avoiding ineffective treatments, unnecessary resections and surgeries. 

The key point in treating melanoma is its early diagnosis. In the early stages, melanoma can be successfully treated with a simple surgical resection. Conversely, delayed diagnosis can lead to tumor metastasis to solid organs (such as the lungs, liver, brain). The dermatologist’s specialized knowledge will determine when a suspicious “olive” needs to be removed and sent for biopsy. 

Also, in the context of prevention at the individual level, it is important for each person to observe their body for any new moles or other skin lesions and to examine themselves regularly, without, at the same time, omitting their regular check-up at the Dermatologist. The dermatologist is the one who will decide what the follow-up intervals will be for each person as these may vary depending on the presence of risk factors (eg individual or family history of melanoma, open skin phototype, etc.).