The status of dermoscopy in Germany - results of the cross-sectional Pan-Euro-Dermoscopy Study

J Dtsch Dermatol Ges. 2018 Feb;16(2):174-181. doi: 10.1111/ddg.13431. Epub 2018 Jan 31.


Background: Survey on the current status of dermoscopy in Germany.

Methods: In the context of a pan-European internet-based study (n = 7,480) conducted by the International Dermoscopy Society, 880 German dermatologists were asked to answer questions with respect to their level of training as well as their use and perceived benefit of dermoscopy.

Results: Seven hundred and sixty-two (86.6 %) participants practiced dermatology in a publicly funded health care setting; 98.4 % used a dermoscope in routine clinical practice. About 93 % (n = 814) stated to have had more than five years of experience in the use of dermoscopy. Dermoscopy was considered useful in the diagnosis of melanoma by 93.6 % (n = 824); for pigmented skin tumors, by 92.4 % (n = 813); in the follow-up of melanocytic lesions, by 88.6 % (n = 780); for non-pigmented lesions, by 71.4 % (n = 628), in the follow-up of non-melanocytic lesions, by 52.7 % (n = 464); and for inflammatory skin lesions, by 28.5 % (n = 251). Overall, 86.5 % (n = 761) of participants felt that - compared to naked-eye examination - dermoscopy increased the number of melanomas diagnosed; 77,7 % (n = 684) considered the number of unnecessary excisions of benign lesions to be decreased. Participants who personally felt that dermoscopy improved their ability to diagnose melanoma were significantly i) younger, ii) had been practicing dermatology for a shorter period of time, iii) were less commonly employed by an university-affiliated dermatology department, iv) were more frequently working in an office-based public health care setting, and v) had more frequently been trained in dermoscopy during their dermatology residency.

Conclusions: The findings presented herein ought to be integrated into future residency and continuing medical education programs with the challenge to improve dermato-oncological care and to expand the diagnostic spectrum of dermoscopy to include inflammatory skin diseases.

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dermatitis / pathology
  • Dermatology / education
  • Dermatology / methods*
  • Dermoscopy / education
  • Dermoscopy / methods*
  • Europe
  • Female
  • Germany
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Melanoma / pathology
  • Middle Aged
  • Nevus, Pigmented / pathology
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'*
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires