Dermatoscopy (or dermoscopy) allows a noninvasive, magnified, in vivo visualization of microstructures of the skin not visible to the naked eye. The most used device to perform a dermatoscopy examination is the handheld dermatoscope, which may be equipped with polarized and/or non-polarized light; in the last case, the application of a liquid (oil, alcohol, water) between the magnifying lens and the skin, which decreases light reflection, refraction, and diffraction, is generally required for a better visualization of epidermal and dermal structures (“epiluminescence” microscopy). This basic equipment may be broadened by computer-assisted digital systems supplied with lenses achieving higher magnifications, up to ×1000. Such devices, called videodermatoscopes, are also suited for image storing and processing.
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