Therapeutic Dermoscopy to Facilitate Detection and Extraction of Foreign Bodies

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Abstract

Foreign bodies are occasionally seen by family physicians. Plantar foreign bodies in particular pose a special challenge because they involve weight-bearing regions that are difficult to access. If left undetected long enough, these may lead to hospitalization, surgery, or even longstanding complications such as tumors, contractures, infections, and chronic ulcers. Dermoscopy of the cutaneous surface allows early detection of indwelling foreign bodies with a far greater degree of accuracy than with the naked eye. Furthermore, use of a polarized dermatoscope provides ideal illumination and 3-dimensional visualization of the involved site, and facilitates extraction of the penetrating object. This technique could be used for similar injuries involving other body surfaces.

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