Dermatoscopy in routine practice - 'chaos and clues'

Aust Fam Physician. 2012 Jul;41(7):482-7.


Background: Skin cancer is a major cause of mortality and morbidity in Australia, and primary care doctors can, and should, treat most cases.

Objective: In this article we outline one method for the effective use of dermatoscopy in diagnosing melanoma and other skin malignancies in general practice.

Discussion: The use of a dermatoscope in clinical practice has been shown to increase diagnostic accuracy and is considered the standard of care in assessing patients with pigmented skin lesions. Its use is also being increasingly applied to the diagnosis of nonpigmented skin lesions. Like any clinical tool, training is required for effective use. 'Chaos and clues' is a straightforward method of rapidly assessing suspicious pigmented skin lesions using a dermatoscope; its use can lead to improved diagnosis of melanoma and other skin malignancies.

MeSH terms

  • Dermoscopy / methods*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Humans
  • Nevus, Pigmented / diagnosis*
  • Nevus, Pigmented / pathology
  • Skin Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology