All About Reflectance Confocal Microscopy

If you have a suspicious mole or any other serious skin condition, and you live in the Southampton, Pennsylvania area, contact the professional dermatologists at Pennsylvania Dermatology Specialists. Within our range of medical dermatology services in Southampton, PA, we offer Reflectance Confocal Microscopy. This revolutionary technology offers a non-invasive and highly precise method for diagnosing various types of skin cancer. 

Types of Skin Cancers

There are several types of skin cancer, and they can often look like a pimple, a mole, or a sore that doesn’t heal. The best-known type of skin cancer is melanoma. The other forms of skin cancer that are less frequently discussed are basal and squamous cell carcinomas. Those two types are less discussed because they’re not as potentially life-threatening as melanoma.

When the doctor suspects any skin cancer, it’s essential to get an accurate diagnosis. Previously, to diagnose a skin lesion, a doctor would take a biopsy, which involves cutting into the skin. However, suppose you are seeking skin cancer treatment in Southampton, PA. In that case, you can contact us at Pennsylvania Dermatology Specialists to take advantage of Reflectance Confocal Microscopy.

Reflectance Confocal Microscopy

Reflectance Confocal Microscopy is a non-invasive technique that can diagnose skin cancer without needing a biopsy. The procedure uses the Vivascope 1500, which can examine the skin from its surface to its dermal layer. The Vivascope can provide an image deep inside the skin without the cutting and scarring caused by a biopsy. Since its introduction in 2016, the use of Reflectance Confocal Microscopy has been increasing due to the desire of dermatologists to reduce the number of unnecessary biopsies.

At the beginning of the procedure, a small amount of oil is applied to the skin. A glass circle with a metal ring around it is placed on top of the area and is secured by medical tape. The metal ring around the glass is magnetized, which enables the inner lens of the Vivascope to target it and ensure correct placement. When prompted, the Vivascope will project a laser onto the examined area and capture an image of a small part of that area.

Results of Reflectance Confocal Microscopy

The laser will capture images of that area and send them to a photodetector – like a miniature camera. Each image from the laser will be 5mm x 5 mm. A computer will combine all the images so a doctor can look at a picture of all the layers of the examined areas. After reviewing the images, the doctor will be able to give you a diagnosis. After prescribing a treatment for your skin, the doctor could repeat the procedure in future visits to monitor your response to the prescribed treatment.

Contact Us Today with Your Skin Concerns

No matter what type of skin problem you may have, contact us today at Pennsylvania Dermatology Specialists for a professional diagnosis and treatment plan. If we detect an area that may be cancerous, we can use Reflective Confocal Microscopy to detect it without an invasive biopsy. If your test shows you have skin cancer, our treatment methods – which include Mohs surgery – will provide your best chance of recovery and resumption of your healthy life.

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