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Dermatopathology is a subspecialty of anatomical pathology devoted to the study of benign and malignant diseases of the skin. Dermatopathologists work in close association with dermatologists.

Dermatologists recognize most skin diseases based on their appearance, distribution on the body and behavior with time. Occasionally, these criteria are not enough and a skin biopsy is taken to be examined under the microscope. This microscopic examination reveals the histology of the disease and clarifies the diagnosis.

One of the greatest challenges of dermatopathology is the high number of different skin diseases. There are an estimated 1500 different rashes and skin tumors. Therefore, dermatology and dermatopathology are among the most complex specialties of Medicine.

Dermatopathologists are physicians who after completing their training in either dermatology or pathology pursued additional training in accredited programs for the interpretation of skin biopsies. These physicians integrate the clinical information with microscopic observations of the biopsy from the patient to provide diagnostic information to the treating physician. Dermatopathology is a consultative service to the referring dermatologist and not simply a laboratory test. Your dermatopathologist is an important member of your health care team. The accurate microscopic interpretation of the biopsy is important in understanding your diagnosis and the selection of appropriate treatment.

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