Dermoscopy of pigmented oral lesions

J Dermatol Case Rep. 2008 Oct 11;2(3):43-8. doi: 10.3315/jdcr.2008.1015.


Dermoscopy is a noninvasive diagnostic technique that permits the visualization of morphologic features that are not visible to the naked eye. It is currently widely used for examination of pigmented skin lesions and early detection of cutaneous melanoma. Dermoscopy of mucous membranes is significantly less investigated and less popular among clinicians.This article reviews current knowledge about characteristic dermoscopy features of pigmented lesions of the oral mucous membranes and lips. It has to emphasized that a major advantage of dermoscopy is the capability to exclude melanoma and avoid unnecessary excisional biopsies and extensive surgery, often resulting in significant disfigurement of face and oral cavity.It has to be pointed out that there is a necessity to intensify research, which would result in clear-cut dermoscopy criteria for mucosal melanoma and the need for constructing thin, flexible dermoscopes suitable for investigation of oral mucous membranes.

Keywords: dermoscopy; lip; melanoma; mouth; mucous membrane; oral manifestation; tongue.