Synchronous double primary vulvar melanoma: a not so rare possibility. A clinical and dermoscopic case study

Melanoma Res. 2024 Jun 24. doi: 10.1097/CMR.0000000000000989. Online ahead of print.


Vulvar melanoma is considered rare, but it is the second most frequent vulvar neoplasm; 2% of melanomas in women arise in the vulvar area. It is important to highlight how the characteristics of vulvar melanoma differentiate it from classic cutaneous melanoma. Vulvar melanoma has different risk factors and clinical and dermoscopic characteristics; moreover, it has a higher recurrence rate and a greater likelihood of multifocality. Here, we present a case of a 44-year-old patient with two primary vulvar melanomas located on opposite sides of her vulva. The lesions were both flat, but they had distinct clinical and dermoscopic appearances. Melanoma of the genital tract is likely the result of a multifocal disorder of the melanocytes within the mucosa that inhabit the perineal squamous epithelium. The risk factors of vulvar melanoma differ from those of classical cutaneous melanomas. Vulvar melanoma occurs in an area shielded from ultraviolet radiation; the primary risk factors include chronic inflammatory disease, genetic susceptibility, irritant agents and viral infections. This case study reveals how a close examination of the genital area is important and how dermoscopy can aid in the differential diagnosis of vulvar lesions. Inspections of the genital area should be particularly thorough if a melanoma is detected there, given the higher risk of multifocality in that part of the body.