Diagnosing Pigmented Skin Lesions
Symon Cotton, September, 2011
Diseases of the skin are extremely common and represent a huge number of different conditions. Not surprisingly therefore, pigmented skin lesions take up a large amount of clinician’s time and resources. It is logical to assume that improving the accuracy and time taken for diagnosis can have a significant impact on efficiency in the clinical setting, not only in terms of patient throughput, but also in terms of making more effective treatment choices. Rapid and accurate diagnosis can also be critical In the case of malignant melanoma, where early diagnosis is frequently life-saving, as well as reducing the number of unnecessary biopsies carried out where the eventual diagnosis is negative.
Traditional methods of diagnosing skin lesions have relied on experience and comparisons against previous examples, making them subjective and allowing for a large likelihood of false positives. A new method, using SIAscopy, is objective, quick and easy to use. It provides independent views, SIAscans, of haemoglobin, pigment, dermal pigment and collagen to a depth of 2mm, and allows the practitioner to study these separately and in combination. The distributions of these four skin components show characteristic pathological changes indicative of particular skin diseases. SIAscopy has enormous potential as an accurate and cost-effective diagnostic tool for any medical practitioner who treats patients with pigmented skin lesions.