U.S. scientists have developed an imaging pen that they say could offer a new approach to identifying cancerous skin lesions. The technology involves the use of diffuse reflectance spectroscopy, laser-induced fluorescence spectroscopy and Raman spectroscopy to image a lesion and perform readings in roughly five seconds. Pilot trials of the device are underway.
Tattoo ink can hide a malignant melanoma, and laser tattoo removal might encourage precancerous lesions to become malignant, doctors at Laserklinik Karlsruhe in Karlsruhe, Germany, say. The doctors report a case study of a man who refused to have a nevus excised before undergoing laser-assisted tattoo removal, only to find later that the lesion was malignant. "[T]attoos should never be placed on pigmented lesions; if they are, the tattoos should not be treated by laser," the authors write.
Health insurers processed 7.1% of claims incorrectly in 2013, down from 9.5% in 2012 and 19% in 2011, according to the American Medical Association's National Health Insurer Report Card. The claim denial rate fell to 1.82% from 3.48% the prior year. Medicare processed more than 98% of claims correctly on first submission.
Dermatologists can use lasers to treat pediatric port wine stains, superficial hemangiomas, nevi and vitiligo, but lasers have not been proven for striae or café au lait spots, University of Miami Co-director of Pediatric Dermatology Dr. Jan Izakovic said at the annual meeting of the Florida Society of Dermatologic Surgeons. "I usually do a small test area first, and eventually increase the energy in small increments if there is no or too little effect," Izakovic said.