Dermoscopy of genital diseases: a review

J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2020 Oct;34(10):2198-2207. doi: 10.1111/jdv.16723. Epub 2020 Jul 13.


The male and female external genital regions are anatomical areas in which various types of skin disorders may occur. Although most of these conditions can be diagnosed by means of clinical examination and an accurate medical history, in most cases further investigations with time-consuming and/or invasive procedures are needed in order to reach the correct diagnosis. Dermoscopy, as a modern non-invasive tool, is able to better diagnose pigmented and non-pigmented skin tumours along with various inflammatory and infectious skin and appendage disorders. The aim of this paper was to provide a review of the use of dermoscopy in genital disorders based on published data and to include personal experience gained from real life, focusing on any possible gender difference and whether disease mucosal/semimucosal dermoscopy features may differ from those observed on the skin. In conclusion, genital dermoscopy should always be considered during clinical inspection in order to enhance the diagnosis or to rule out those conditions that may look similar but that show a different dermoscopy pattern, thus narrowing down the differential diagnoses and avoiding unnecessary invasive investigations.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Dermoscopy
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Genitalia
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Skin
  • Skin Diseases* / diagnostic imaging
  • Skin Neoplasms* / diagnosis