• Ivan Bristow

Book: Diagnostic Dermoscopy 2E – A great update


Dermoscopy has seen an incredible increase in its popularity and clinical use since the late 1990’s. I first undertook dermoscopy training in 2005 with Dr Jonathan Bowling and I remember the limited library of books available at that time. In 2012, Jonathan Bowling published the first edition of “Diagnostic Dermoscopy” which was a great book – lots of images, diagrams and concise descriptions and definitions making it the essential book to ease oneself into the world of dermoscopy. In fact, it won the BMA book award for that year and is often recommended as the key text for many learners. Fast forward ten years and Dr Bowling has delivered the second edition of the book.




The first obvious change is the size – it has more than doubled in pages from 148 to 326. This represents the increase in knowledge driven by the intense research which has occurred in this field over this period. Dr Bowling has been joined by two eminent dermatologists for the latest edition. Dr Alex Chamberlain is a dermatologist practicing in Melbourne, Australia with a strong background publishing and educating in the field of melanoma and dermoscopy. Dr. John Paoli works as researcher and dermatologist at the University of Gothenburg and has added much knowledge to the field through his publications.


As the discipline of dermoscopy has evolved over the last decade there has been a need for standardisation, particularly with regard to terminology. Initially, dermatoscopic descriptions of patterns and colours were often metaphorical - “Leaf-like structures”, “Cobblestone appearance” and “Strings of pearls” to name but a few. However, a move away from the literary descriptions to a more standard language is welcome and makes the subject more understandable and accessible.


The book is divided into 12 chapters starting with the introduction of the basic concepts, colours and patterns leading into a second chapter on melanocytic naevi or moles. As melanoma make up a fair proportion of a dermatoscopist’s workload, this chapter has been expanded from one to four chapters in the new edition. Clinical variants, pigmentary variants, dermatoscopic features and high-risk scenarios (such as feature poor melanoma and amelanotic melanoma) are now discussed and illustrated giving a much broader insight into the many forms of this aggressive skin cancer. The next three chapters then cover non-melanocytic lesions and basal cell carcinoma and keratinocyte dysplasia (Actinic keratosis, Bowens disease and Squamous Cell Carcinoma).





Chapter seven splits the skin into specific regions and, podiatrists will be pleased to learn that acral lesions are well covered, along with nail dermoscopy. Facial, scalp and trichoscopy (hair dermoscopy) has also be included for those venturing northward!


A new chapter on vascular lesions is a welcome addition and includes haematoma in all is presentations along with pyogenic granuloma and purpura. In the new edition, new chapters have also been added as the utility of dermatoscope widens into areas such as inflammascopy, genodermatoses and entomodermatoses (infections, parasites and creature bites and stings) and finishes with miscellaneous dermatoscopic case such as keloids, foreign bodies and cryotherapy lesions.





Jonathan’s approach to writing is to make it as visual as possible without heavy text description or algorithms, consequently it is easy for any reader to pick up the text and begin at any relevant chapter and gain useful information with lots of colour and example images. At the foot of many pages are the key reference papers for that topic making it easy for the reader to read any aspect in more detail. In terms of pricing and utility, this new edition is a great text for those entering the world of dermoscopy as well as being a reference book for those more familiar the technique.


A webinar interview with Jonathan Bowling discussing his new book is available here (free to view).


Title: Diagnostic Dermoscopy The illustrated Guide

Second Edition


Jonathan Bowling, John Paoli and Alex Chamberlain


Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell: Oxford


ISBN-13 ‏ :978-1118930489 (paperback) £59.99

ASIN B09XWX1Z6Z (Kindle edition) £51,29


Available from July 2022

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