I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if you've owned your dermatoscope for more than a few years, then it's really just a matter of time until you'll need to purchase a new battery.
But the good news is that a "bad battery" is the most common cause of problems that dermatoscope owners experience.
If I had to estimate, probably about 60% of the time that a customer inquires about sending in their dermatoscope for service, we realize (after a few questions) that they're experiencing symptoms of a dead (or dying) battery.
The reason that's "good" is because your dermatoscope battery is easily replaced. If doing so fixes the problem, then you can avoid the hassle of being without your dermatoscope for 2-3 weeks as it's being serviced.
Before we talk about tips and recommendations for battery care, though, let's first let's clarify one thing - the warranty.
Dermlite dermatoscopes now carry a 10-year warranty. However, that warranty is for the unit itself, and not the battery. Instead, the lithium-ion batteries found within most of the rechargeable Dermlite models are covered for 1 year.
So just to be clear - if your dermatoscope is over a year old, but you find yourself needing a new battery, then you will need to purchase it on your own (it won't be covered under warranty).
Although that may sound bad, the truth is that they're relatively inexpensive and easy to replace.
So how will you know if you have a bad battery?
The most common prelude to needing a replacement battery is noticing that your dermatoscope isn't holding a charge as long as it did when it was new. For example, most new dermatoscopes (even with frequent use throughout the day) will last for days (if not over a week) without needing to be recharged.
Those who order a new battery will often comment that, in the weeks/months prior to their dermatoscope dying completely, they found that they were needing to charge their device every day in order for it to last throughout their work day.
Then as a battery reaches the very end, it's common to notice that the dermatoscope either 1) won't turn on at all, or 2) it will turn on, but only for a few seconds, perhaps "flicker" the LED lights, and then turn off.
So if you find yourself with a "dead" dermatoscope, one method of determining if it's likely the battery is to plug it in to its charger. If your dermatoscope works while plugged in and charging, but then once you unplug it, it "flickers" and/or simply turns off, then it's very likely that you need to purchase a new battery.
NOTE: If your dermatoscope isn't working, but it didn't follow the above pattern (of gradually losing its charging capacity, prior to only "flickering" before dying altogether), and/or it doesn't work at all even when plugged in to its charger, then contact us. It may still be the battery, but if it didn't follow that "classic pattern" of a dying battery, it could be something else and may need to be serviced.
Battery Care Tips & Advice
Otherwise, here are some tips to help you make your dermatoscope battery last longer:
Don't let your battery drain completely: Avoid letting your battery discharge completely as this can lead to damage to the cells. Try to keep your battery level between 20% and 80%.
Avoid extreme temperatures: Lithium-ion batteries prefer room temperature, so avoid exposing your device to extreme heat or cold. High temperatures can lead to shorter battery life, while extremely low temperatures can cause permanent damage.
Charge your battery properly: Either use the charger that came with your device or a compatible charger that meets accepted standards. If you make it a habit of leaving your device plugged in to charge overnight (or over the weekends), just know that this can cause overcharging and damage the battery.
Store your battery properly: If you're not going to be using your device for an extended period of time, store it with the battery level at around 50%. Store the device in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight and sources of heat.
By following these tips, you can help extend the lifespan of your lithium-ion dermatoscope batteries and keep them running smoothly for longer.