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Handheld Dermoscope Detects Scabies with Ease, Accuracy

Sensitivity comparable to standard ex vivo analysis of skin scrapings

THURSDAY, Jan. 11 (HealthDay News) -- A handheld dermoscope can be used for fast and easy detection of scabies infection, even by inexperienced users, researchers report in the January issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Alain Dupuy, M.D., M.P.H., of Hopital Saint-Louis in Paris, France, and colleagues conducted a prospective, evaluator-blinded study to compare the diagnostic accuracy of in vivo identification of Sarcoptes scabiei infection using a pocket handheld dermoscope and standard diagnosis with microscopic examination of skin scrapings.

The investigators found that the sensitivity for handheld dermoscopy was 91 percent, similar to ex vivo examination of skin scrapings, and were similar for both expert and inexperienced dermoscopists. Specificities were 86 percent for handheld dermoscopy and 100 percent for ex vivo dermoscopy.

"Standard dermoscopy with a handheld dermoscope is a useful tool for diagnosing scabies, with high sensitivity, even in inexperienced hands," the authors write. "It greatly enhances clinical skills for making treatment decisions."

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