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Dermoscopy of facial lesions

Iris Zalaudek, MD
Danica Tiodorovic-Zivkovic, PhD, MD
Section Editor
Hensin Tsao, MD, PhD
Deputy Editor
Rosamaria Corona, MD, DSc


Dermoscopy is a noninvasive, in vivo technique used for the examination of skin lesions. It is performed with a handheld instrument called a dermatoscope, which allows the visualization of subsurface skin structures in the epidermis, dermoepidermal junction, and upper dermis that are usually not visible to the naked eye.

For clinicians who have been formally trained, dermoscopy significantly improves the diagnostic accuracy of pigmented and nonpigmented skin lesions [1,2]. However, the dermoscopic diagnosis of lesions located on the face may be challenging, due to the unique anatomic and histologic features of facial skin and their progressive changes caused by chronologic and photo-induced aging.

This topic will review the dermoscopic features of benign and malignant facial lesions. The principles of dermoscopy and the dermoscopic evaluation of skin lesions, mucosal lesions, pigmented lesions of palms and soles, and nail pigmentations are discussed separately. Dermoscopic algorithms for skin cancer triage are also discussed separately.

(See "Overview of dermoscopy".)

(See "Dermoscopic evaluation of skin lesions".)


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Literature review current through: Sep 2016. | This topic last updated: Aug 5, 2015.
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