Dermoscopic and clinical features of pigmented skin lesions of the genital area

An Bras Dermatol. 2015 Mar-Apr;90(2):178-83. doi: 10.1590/abd1806-4841.20153294.


Background: The dermoscopic features of vulvar melanosis lesions are well known. To our knowledge, there are only a few case reports about dermoscopic features of pigmented genital lesions in male patients.

Objective: To evaluate dermoscopic and clinical characteristics of benign lesions of the genital area in both males and females, and to assess the distinguishing dermoscopic criteria of vulvar melanosis and atypical melanocytic nevi of the genital type.

Methods: 68 patients with pigmented genital lesions were included in this observational study (28 male and 40 female). A punch biopsy was taken from all pigmented lesions and histopathological examination was performed on all specimens.

Results: We histopathologically diagnosed: genital melanosis in 40 lesions, atypical melanocytic nevi of the genital type in 15 lesions, melanocytic nevi in 9 lesions, seborrheic keratosis in 4 lesions. The most frequent locations were the glans penis (19 patients, 67.9%) in males and the labia minora (19 patients, 47.5%) in females. The mean age of patients with atypical nevi (28,6 ± 11,36) was significantly lower than the mean age of patients with genital melanosis (47,07 ± 15,33).

Conclusions: Parallel pattern is prominent in genital melanosis, ring-like pattern is only observed in genital melanosis. Most pigmented lesions on the genital area are solitary. Blue-white veil and irregular dots are only observed in AMNGT. According to these results, we propose that histopathological examination is performed, especially if blue-white veil and irregular dots are found by dermoscopy.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Biopsy
  • Dermoscopy / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Keratosis, Seborrheic / pathology
  • Male
  • Melanosis / pathology*
  • Nevus, Pigmented / pathology*
  • Penile Diseases / pathology*
  • Sex Factors
  • Skin / pathology*
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Vulvar Diseases / pathology*
  • Young Adult