What is confocal microscopy?
Reflectance confocal microscopy is the only technique that enables the visualisation of the skin with a resolution at the cellular level and may provide an alternative to histopathology. It is the latest validated technology in skin cancer diagnosis. It involves the use of a laser-assisted microscope to evaluate moles with a remarkably detailed insight than is possible with the naked eye dermoscopy. It reduces the need for a physical biopsy by helping surgeons to treat skin conditions, by-passing painful and unnecessary investigations.
What advantage does confocal microscopy offer?
This examination method allows for an absolutely painless and fast diagnosis. In many cases, the time it takes to know the results is reduced from days to minutes. Your doctor can start your treatment immediately. Often, you can be spared from a biopsy and the resulting scar. The reliability of the method has been proven by many years of use and numerous medical studies.
The examination does not cause any discomfort. Your skin will remain completely unharmed.
Our devices use long-wave laser light with a wavelength of 830 nm. This gentle examination method does not entail any side effects. The laser does not cause damage to the eye or skin. Even highly sensitive skin areas – as for example, when suffering from acute contact allergy – can be assessed without problems.
Skin diseases such as melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer are increasing in number because of the increased life expectancy and excessive sun exposure. Non-invasive imaging tools help detect melanoma early and reduce the number of unnecessary excisions. They also are useful for defining margins of certain types of skin cancer (Lentigo Maligna and Basal Cell Carcinoma) as well as monitoring the response rate of topical chemotherapy and photodynamic therapy for treating some non-melanoma skin cancers (Basal Cell Carcinoma and Bowen’s Disease).
How does confocal microscopy work?
This process normally takes a few minutes to provide the Consultant Dermatologist with digital images of potential skin cancers, as well as inflammatory skin diseases, at a cellular level. After the imaging device has been attached to the skin, the skin is penetrated by light. The different structures of the skin reflect the light to a varying extent, from which the device generates an image. These images show your doctor the individual cells and tissue structures of your skin. Your doctor can immediately evaluate whether or not the cells are healthy and determine the appropriate type of treatment.
No incision, no pain, quick, reliable, no scars…
Your Dermatologist at Skin Inspection uses a modern, painless examination method for different skin diseases such as non-melanoma skin cancer or malignant melanoma. The examination provides a painless insight into the skin without injuring it. Images show the individual cells of your skin and allow for a very reliable diagnosis, in most cases even during the examination.