A Board-Certified Dermatopathologist has completed a fellowship in skin pathology following a residency in Dermatology or Pathology, and has passed a national board examination in skin pathology. Of perhaps greater importance, Dermatopathologists who devote their practice entirely to the interpretation of skin specimens are uniquely attuned to rare as well as common manifestations of every process that can affect the skin. Such individuals are able to offer reliable clinical-pathological correlation and give up-to-date and detailed suggestions for diagnostic testing and follow-up of patients, thereby saving the patients and their insurers the cost of many unnecessary diagnostic procedures and unnecessary treatments. Some examples of situations where special expertise in skin pathology is of particular value are:
- Biologically benign pigmented lesions which can simulate melanoma both clinically and histologically.
- Nevoid malignant melanomas which have a deceptively banal clinical and histological appearance.
- Clinically atypical nevi which may be totally benign, potentially premalignant (dysplastic or congenital), or malignant.
- Benign tumors of the follicles or sweat glands which can closely resemble basal cell carcinoma both clinically and histologically.
- Benign vascular lesions that can closely simulate Kaposi's sarcoma or angiosarcoma.
- Distinguishing among rashes such as eczema, psoriasis, lichen planus, and drug eruptions.