Background: Dermoscopy is a noninvasive diagnostic technique that allows visualization of structures of the superficial dermis not visible with the naked eye. Hypothesis/Objectives: To assess the usefulness and applicability of dermoscopy for evaluation of healthy equine skin. Animals: Twelve healthy horses from a research herd. Methods: Five regions (cheek, lateral neck, dorsum, flank and abdomen) were examined with contact dermoscopy using both nonpolarized and polarized light at both 17-fold and 24-fold magnification. These findings were compared to histological features of skin biopsies cut both longitudinally and transversely. Results: Using a hand-held dermatoscope with nonpolarized light, epidermal ridges were observed. Using polarized light, follicular openings and distinctly separate epidermal openings of sweat gland ducts were observed in some but not all individuals. Similarities were noted between histological and dermoscopic results. Conclusions: Although not ideal for visualizing many structures in the superficial dermis of healthy equine skin, dermoscopy allowed visualization of epidermal ridges, hair shafts in the infundibular portion of the hair follicles and sweat gland duct openings. Dermoscopy could potentially be useful in the evaluation of diseases affecting the sweat glands, epidermis and hair shaft.
ASJC Scopus subject areas