What is the dermatological exam and how is it done

The dermatological exam is a simple and quick exam that aims to identify changes that may be present on the skin, and the exam should be performed by the dermatologist in his office.

However, the dermatological examination can also be done at home and for that, the person can stand in front of the mirror and look closely at his body, looking for new signs, spots, scars, flaking or itching, including the back of the neck. the ears and between the toes. If new signs are observed, it is important to go to the dermatologist so that the examination is done in more detail and the diagnosis can be made.

How the dermatological examination is done

The dermatological examination is simple, quick and no preparation is necessary, because it consists of observing lesions, spots or signs present on the skin. This exam is usually required for users of public swimming pools, private clubs and some fitness centers.

The examination is done in the dermatologist's office and occurs in two stages:

  1. Anamnesis, in which the doctor will ask questions about the injury, such as when it started, when the first symptom appeared, what the symptom is like (itches, hurts or burns), if the lesion has spread to another part of the body and if the lesion has evolved .
  2. Physical examination, in which the doctor will observe the person and the injury, paying attention to the characteristics of the injury, such as color, consistency, type of the injury (plaque, nodule, spots, scar), shape (in target, linear, rounded), disposition (grouped, scattered, isolated) and distribution of the lesion (localized or disseminated).

Through a simple dermatological examination, you can discover various diseases such as chilblains, foot insects, ringworm, herpes, psoriasis and other more serious ones such as melanoma, which is a type of skin cancer that can easily spread to other organs. Learn how to identify melanoma.

Auxiliary diagnostic tests

Some diagnostic tests can be used to complement the dermatological examination, when the physical examination is not sufficient to determine the cause of the injury, they are:

  • Biopsy, in which part of the injured region or sign is removed so that the characteristics can be evaluated and the diagnosis can be closed. Biopsy is widely used to diagnose skin cancer, for example. See what are the first signs of skin cancer;
  • Shaved, in which the doctor shaves the lesion to be taken to the laboratory for analysis. This test is usually done to diagnose yeast infections;
  • Wood's light, which is widely used to assess the spots present on the skin and make the differential diagnosis with other diseases through the fluorescence pattern, such as erythrasma, in which the lesion fluoresces in a bright orange-red tone, and vitiligo, which it turns bright blue;
  • Cytodiagnosis of Tzanck, which is done to diagnose lesions caused by viruses, such as herpes, which usually manifests itself through blisters. Therefore, the material used to perform this diagnostic examination is the blisters.

These tests help the dermatologist to define the cause of the injury and to establish the appropriate treatment for the patient.