Dermoscopy of pigmented lesions of the vulva: a retrospective morphological study

Dermatology. 2011;222(2):157-66. doi: 10.1159/000323409. Epub 2011 Feb 9.


Background: The dermoscopic patterns of pigmented skin tumors are influenced by the body site.

Objective: To evaluate the clinical and dermoscopic features associated with pigmented vulvar lesions.

Methods: Retrospective analysis of clinical and dermoscopic images of vulvar lesions. The χ² test was used to test the association between clinical data and histopathological diagnosis.

Results: A total of 42 (32.8%) melanocytic and 86 (67.2%) nonmelanocytic vulvar lesions were analyzed. Nevi significantly prevailed in younger women compared with melanomas and melanosis and exhibited most commonly a globular/cobblestone (51.3%) and a mixed (21.6%) pattern. Dermoscopically all melanomas showed a multicomponent pattern. Melanotic macules showed clinical overlapping features with melanoma, but their dermoscopic patterns differed significantly from those observed in melanomas.

Conclusion: The diagnosis and management of pigmented vulvar lesions should be based on a good clinicodermoscopic correlation. Dermoscopy may be helpful in the differentiation of solitary melanotic macules from early melanoma.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Dermoscopy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Melanoma / pathology*
  • Melanosis / pathology
  • Middle Aged
  • Nevus, Pigmented / pathology*
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Vulva / pathology
  • Vulvar Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Young Adult