The p53 expression in various skin tumors was immunohistologically evaluated using two mouse monoclonal anti-p53 antibodies, PAb421 and PAb1801. The p53 expression was not detected in the normal epidermal cells. Nuclear staining suggested that the p53 expression was observed in 10 of 26 squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs) from 24 patients, in one undifferentiated carcinoma, one proliferating trichilemmal cyst, one malignant proliferating trichilemmal tumor and in one metastatic carcinoma of breast cancer. None off four cases of Bowen's disease (SCC in situ) showed nuclear staining. In the SCCs, five of 20 primary lesions, three of four recurrent lesions and both of two metastatic lesions had positive nuclei. There was one case of SCC in which a primary lesion was negative but a recurrent lesion was positive. Thus, p53 expression was more frequently observed in SCCs at more clinically advanced stages. This may suggest that p53 has some relevance to progression of SCC. Nuclear staining was not detected in any of the following cases: two cases of seborrheic keratosis, one eccrine poroma, one keratoacanthoma, 11 basal cell epitheliomas, two mammary Paget's disease, three genital Paget's disease, one sebaceous carcinoma, four malignant melanomas, six lymphomas, two leukemia cutis and two angiosarcomas.