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To the Editor.—
One of the diagnostic aids now rarely used in dermatology is transillumination. A study has been underway for some years in the Department of Dermatology of the University of Cincinnati Medical Center to determine the value and limitations of transillumination techniques for diagnosis of dermatologic conditions by incoherent bright light and also by laser light. If the optical qualities of normal skin of an area are changed by any structures that affect light transmission, absorption, and reflectance, these changes may be shown in a general diffuse fashion by transillumination. Some examples are cysts with and without blood, tumors with and without cystic or calcium changes, foreign bodies, etc.A Welch Allyn transilluminator has been used in these examinations. One of the most constant and clear findings of the value of transillumination is the use of this technique for the examination of mucinous pseudocysts of the finger. In
Goldman L, Kitzmiller KW. Transillumination for Diagnosis of Mucinous Pseudocyst of the Finger. Arch Dermatol. 1974;109(4):576. doi:10.1001/archderm.1974.01630040080035