- Dermatoscope, an efficient tool used to evaluate different dermatological disorders, is a potential source of nosocomial infection spread. In fact, recent studies have shown that the SARS-CoV-2 virus can remain viable in aerosol and different materials (plastic, stainless steel, cardboard…) for hours.
- Appointments should be discouraged or postponed for 14 days in patients with possible symptoms or risk factors for infection. Verbal consent should be prioritized.
- Before dermoscopy, patients should sit 2 meters apart, disinfect hands with 60-90% alcohol and wear a mask.
- Dermatologists should also wear a mask, perform hand hygiene and wear gloves before procedure.
- Dermatoscope and body part should be disinfected with alcohol wipes.
- Non-contact dermoscopy is preferred and intraoperative dermoscopy avoided.
- Sites like hands, nails, face, eyes, mucosa should be avoided.
- Methods to decrease risk of infectious spread include:
- Polyvinyl chloride food wrap placed on lens
- Disposable lens cover
- Microscopic glass slide
- Polyethylene tube for mucoscopy
- Plastic bottle cap
- Transparent tape
- Disinfection of surfaces and tools as well as hand hygiene are necessary post-dermoscopy.
This data comes from the analysis of the articles “Art of performing dermoscopy during the times of coronavirus disease (COVID-19): simplechange in approach can save the day!” by Jakhar et al and “Performing dermoscopy in the COVID-19 pandemic” by Goldust et al, that detail precaution measures and recommendations for the act of dermoscopy in the context of the global pandemic.
Jakhar, D., et al. “Art of Performing Dermoscopy during the Times of Coronavirus Disease (COVID‐19): Simple Change in Approach Can Save the Day!” Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, 2020, doi:10.1111/jdv.16412.
Goldust, M., et al. “Performing Dermoscopy in the COVID ‐19 Pandemic.” Dermatologic Therapy, 2020, doi:10.1111/dth.13506