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Diagnosis of Skin Conditions

 

When we are working to remove moles and benign skin growths we first need to be sure that the lesion is not cancerous. This is very important, because if you removed a lesion which was pre cancerous or cancerous this could cause grave risks to the person you removed the lesions from. But why? This is because when you remove a mole for aesthetic reasons all you are interested in is achieving the best possible aesthetic results. In case the lesion you removed was cancerous, likely you many not have removed it completely and the cancer may continue to grow and spread without the person who had can notice it on time. Therefor eit is important to perform a correct diagnosis before removing the mole. But how is a diagnosis performed?

Up until today, the way a skin diagnosis is made, are symptom-based. The specialist examines the colour, size, shape of a skin condition and asks you a few questions. Based on his/her experience or knowledge he/she may be able to make an educated guess of skin condition you may have.

It is very important to understand that, up until today, it is very unlikely to have 100% guarantee that any diagnosis made in this manner is correct which is to say based on the specialist’s opinion alone. Normally the easiest basic test your doctor or GP applies is the ABCDE rule. This is when the doctor tries to exclude that the particular lesion may be sinister.

Medicine is never an exact science and currently, the only known way to have the best degree of certainty that you have a correct diagnosis of each lesion on your body is the use of histological examinations. A histological examination is a detailed observation of the tissue of a living organism’s tissue under the microscope. By examining the tissue in the microscope one can have the best chances to make the most accurate diagnosis currently possible.

A punch biopsy of the skin. The sample will be sent to the lab for histological examination. A punch biopsy is generally only performed if the doctor deems necessary to perform further investigations.

To this day, the problem with histological examinations is that it is still impractical to perform on all the lesions on our bodies for two reasons:

→ Generally, because in order to extract the cell of the particular lesion a biopsy is required. Biopsies are rather invasive and are very likely to leave a scar. Also, it would be impractical to perform a biopsy on each lesion on our bodies because there are so many of them.

→ The real resources allocated (i.e costs) to performing a histological examination itself are relatively significant.

For these two reasons (scarring and costs), the doctor or specialist, normally makes an estimation of how likely the lesions may be benign (harmless). In case the perceived likelihood of the lesion to be nonbenign is relatively high, the doctor will opt to perform a punch biopsy to send the sample taken to the lab for a histological examination.

In this way (by visial inspection by the specialist), the diagnosis although not 100% accurate will provide the best compromise in terms of invasiveness and costs, while hopefully still maintaining an acceptable degree of accuracy.

To summarise, only a histological examination can guarantee the highest probability of an accurate diagnosis.

The specialist’s trained eye can provide and indication but it is never guarantee of a 100% accurate diagnosis, despite his/her qualifications or experience.

So if you are not a specialist wahat is the practical solution? You are not capable of formulating an accurate diagnosis and you may not be even qualified to do it!

The solution is simple:

-Learn yourself to identify any possible cancerous mole. There is a lot of information and courses available for you to train your eye and ask the right questions. If you suspect the lesion may not benign immediately refer your client to a dermatologist.

-Make sure you include in your consent form a clause that states that you do not make any diagnosis and you remove any skin lesions under the assumption that each one of those the client wants to have removed has been previously examined by a specialist and declared non cancerous.  If you are not sure about the consent form, please feel free to use ours, it is on Voltaicplasma.com.

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