Utility of the Wood's light: five cases from a pigmented lesion clinic

Br J Dermatol. 2005 May;152(5):1039-44. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2133.2005.06346.x.


We demonstrate the utility of the Wood's light in a practice that specializes in the evaluation of pigmented lesions. The Wood's light assisted the physician in locating the site of a completely regressed primary cutaneous melanoma, determining the clinical borders of a lentigo maligna melanoma, differentiating between agminated naevi and a naevus spilus and detecting the recurrence of pigmentation after the excision of a dysplastic naevus, and also proved useful in monitoring a large segmental speckled atypical lentiginous naevus for change. Despite the availability of many 'high-tech' imaging and diagnostic devices designed to evaluate skin lesions, the relatively simple Wood's lamp continues to be of great value. We encourage physicians not to abandon the use of the Wood's light in their clinical practice.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Dysplastic Nevus Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hutchinson's Melanotic Freckle / diagnosis
  • Male
  • Melanoma / diagnosis*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Regression, Spontaneous / pathology
  • Nevus, Pigmented / diagnosis*
  • Skin Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Ultraviolet Rays*