A deep learning-based approach toward differentiating scalp psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis from dermoscopic images

Front Med (Lausanne). 2022 Nov 3;9:965423. doi: 10.3389/fmed.2022.965423. eCollection 2022.


Objectives: This study aims to develop a new diagnostic method for discriminating scalp psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis based on a deep learning (DL) model, which uses the dermatoscopic image as input and achieved higher accuracy than dermatologists trained with dermoscopy.

Methods: A total of 1,358 pictures (obtained from 617 patients) with pathological and diagnostic confirmed skin diseases (508 psoriases, 850 seborrheic dermatitides) were randomly allocated into the training, validation, and testing datasets (1,088/134/136) in this study. A DL model concerning dermatoscopic images was established using the transfer learning technique and trained for diagnosing two diseases.

Results: The developed DL model exhibits good sensitivity, specificity, and Area Under Curve (AUC) (96.1, 88.2, and 0.922%, respectively), it outperformed all dermatologists in the diagnosis of scalp psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis when compared to five dermatologists with various levels of experience. Furthermore, non-proficient doctors with the assistance of the DL model can achieve comparable diagnostic performance to dermatologists proficient in dermoscopy. One dermatology graduate student and two general practitioners significantly improved their diagnostic performance, where their AUC values increased from 0.600, 0.537, and 0.575 to 0.849, 0.778, and 0.788, respectively, and their diagnosis consistency was also improved as the kappa values went from 0.191, 0.071, and 0.143 to 0.679, 0.550, and 0.568, respectively. DL enjoys favorable computational efficiency and requires few computational resources, making it easy to deploy in hospitals.

Conclusions: The developed DL model has favorable performance in discriminating two skin diseases and can improve the diagnosis, clinical decision-making, and treatment of dermatologists in primary hospitals.

Keywords: artificial intelligence (AI); deep learning; dermoscopy; scalp psoriasis; seborrheic dermatitis.