Spectrally encoded confocal microscopy (SECM) is a technique that allows confocal microscopy to be performed through the confines of a narrow diameter optical fiber probe. We present a novel scheme for performing SECM in which a rapid wavelength swept source is used. The system allows large field of view images to be acquired at rates up to 30 frames/second. Images of resolution targets and tissue specimens acquired ex vivo demonstrate high lateral (1.4 mu m) and axial (6 mu m) resolution. Imaging of human skin was performed in vivo at depths of up to 350 mu m, allowing cellular and sub-cellular details to be visualized in real time. (c) 2005 Optical Society of America.