Early diagnosis of melanoma: what is the impact of dermoscopy?


  • Financial disclosure or conflicts of interest: None.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Giuseppe Argenziano, MD, Dermatology Unit, Medical Department, Arcispedale Santa Maria Nuova, Viale Risorgimento 80, 42100 Reggio Emilia, Italy, or email: g.argenziano@gmail.com.


There are three possible explanations for the improved melanoma recognition when a clinician uses dermoscopy: first, the presence of early dermoscopy signs that become visible in melanoma much before the appearance of the classical clinical features; second, an increased attitude of clinicians to check more closely clinically banal-looking lesions; and third, an improved attitude of clinicians to monitor their patients. In this review, the light and the dark sides of melanoma screening are briefly discussed, including the need to find better strategies to decrease the number of unnecessary excision of benign lesions on one hand, and to finally decrease melanoma mortality rates on the other.