DNA mismatch repair is a postreplicative DNA repair cascade ensuring genomic integrity. Inactivating germline mutations in DNA mismatch repair genes are responsible for hereditary non-polyposis colorectal carcinoma syndrome (HNPCC), which predisposes to various types of visceral cancer. Most associated tumors exhibit high-grade microsatellite instability. Some patients develop skin tumors of the sebaceous glands. This combined occurrence is known as Muir-Torre syndrome, which has a high probability of an underlying DNA mismatch repair defect. This is also true for individuals selected solely on the basis of sebaceous neoplasias, tumors with the highest frequency of high-grade microsatellite instability. This article focuses on the recent advances in molecular diagnostics for the detection of DNA mismatch repair defects in patients with sebaceous neoplasias, and the potential significance for the secondary prevention of visceral cancer in these patients.