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October 2001

Is Dermoscopy Useful for the Diagnosis of Melanoma?

Arch Dermatol. 2001;137(10):1361-1363. doi:10.1001/archderm.137.10.1361

IN 1985, at the Annual Meeting of the Austrian Society of Dermatology in Vienna, when giving a lecture on dermoscopy—at that time we used the term incident light microscopy—one of us (H.P.S.) was faced immediately with 2 queries: (1) Is dermoscopy really better than naked-eye examination for the diagnosis of melanoma? (2) Will dermoscopy ever be reimbursed? To answer the second question first: yes, dermoscopy has been reimbursed in Austria since 1987. The colleague asking this question was the person who later negotiated with the Austrian Gebietskrankenkasse and convinced them that dermoscopy should be reimbursed because it represents an innovative clinical method with benefits to individuals at risk for developing melanoma, in particular those with numerous acquired melanocytic nevi.