Wood’s Lamp Examination

Wood’s Lamp Examination: What Is It?

The Wood’s Lamp Examining is a procedure used to examine the skin of the wood lamp. It involves removing the skin from around the lamp and examining it under a microscope. The purpose of this test is to determine if there are any cancerous growths or tumors inside the lamp. If so, then they will need to be removed immediately before they cause damage to your house or property.

What Is A Wood Lamp?

A wood lamp is a type of incandescent light bulb. They are made up of many parts such as the filament, base, wick and other components. There are different types of wood lamps available like pine, oak, cherry and others. Some of them have a longer life span than others. Most wood lamps last between 10 – 20 years while some may only last 5 years or less.

How Does Wood Lamp Skin Test Work?

There are two ways of conducting the wood lamp skin test. One way is through a needle-like instrument called a lancet. The second method uses a light source similar to a candle flame to burn away the surface of the skin. Both methods can be performed at home with minimal equipment required. Most people choose to use a needle due to the fact that it causes less damage to the skin and lowers the risk of infection.

Step 1 – Preparing The Wood Lamp

The first step is to prepare the wood lamp for use. This involves filling a small bowl with alcohol and setting it alight. Allow the alcohol to burn until it is almost completely gone and then blow it out. The bowl should now be full of a blue flame.

Step 2 – Finding A Suitable Site

The next step involves finding a suitable site to perform the test. Commonly, the inside of the forearm is used. It is important that you do not use your opposite hand as this may cause the test results to be inaccurate. Pick an area that is about 2 inches from your wrist and 1 inch from your elbow.

Step 3 – Carrying Out The Test

Now you should prepare the wood lamp for use. Make sure that the wood lamp is turned off and allow it to cool down. Place the base of the lamp onto the prepared site. Press down steadily and quickly to create a small mark.

Step 4 – Reading The Wood Lamp Skin Test

The reaction should become visible within 30 seconds. 3 lines appear when the test is successful. These lines are calledWood’s Lines. In addition, a control line also appears. This line runs across the bottom of the sample.

If this line appears, then it means that the test was unsuccessful and you should repeat the process again.

The wood lamp skin test is over. A medical professional will examine the results of your test at a later date.

Does The Wood Lamp Skin Test Hurt?

The wood lamp skin test does hurt slightly. There is a small pinprick when the lancet is used followed by a short burning sensation. Most people can handle the pain without too many issues. Some people feel nauseous or dizzy during or after the process. If you feel ill, take a break and try again later.

Does The Wood Lamp Skin Test Last Long?

The wood lamp skin test should last a maximum of 24 hours. The mark made from the test should disappear after this period, however, it is still advised that you visit your doctor to get the mark removed by a professional.

How Accurate Is The Wood Lamp Skin Test?

The wood lamp skin test is over 95% accurate. However, as with all medical tests, false positives and false negatives may occur. It is important that you do not rely on this test to make a life changing decision. This test should be used only as an aid to help determine whether you need to seek urgent medical attention or not.

Can I Remove The Wood Lamp Mark?

You should visit a doctor as soon as possible if you get a positive result. The mark will be removed by the medical professional who will analyze your results. In addition, they should also provide you with treatment should you need it. It is important that this mark is not left on your skin for an extended period of time as it can lead to a number of complications.

How Does The Wood Lamp Skin Test Compare To Other Methods?

Sources & references used in this article:

Wood’s lamp by LK Gupta, MK Singhi – Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology, and …, 2004 – ijdvl.com

Wood’s lamp for superficial chemical peels by SL Matarasso, RG Glogau, AC Markey – Journal of the American Academy …, 1994 – jaad.org

False “highlighting” with Wood’s lamp by JI Silverberg, NB Silverberg – Pediatric dermatology, 2014 – Wiley Online Library

Medical uses of the Wood’s lamp by RM Caplan – Jama, 1967 – jamanetwork.com

Localization of melanin pigmentation in the skin with Wood’s lamp by BA GILCHREST, TB FITZPATRICK… – British Journal of …, 1977 – Wiley Online Library