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Dermoscopy of mucosal lesions

Andreas Blum, MD
Olga Simionescu, MD, PhD
Giuseppe Argenziano, MD
Section Editor
Hensin Tsao, MD, PhD
Deputy Editor
Rosamaria Corona, MD, DSc


Dermoscopy, also called dermatoscopy or epiluminescence microscopy, is a noninvasive technique performed using a handheld instrument called a dermatoscope. Dermoscopy is widely used for the examination of pigmented and nonpigmented lesions of the skin, scalp, nails, palms, and soles. It increases the clinician's diagnostic accuracy and may allow the recognition of malignant skin tumors at an early, curable stage [1-6].

There is increasing evidence that dermoscopy may also be helpful for formally trained clinicians to differentiate benign from malignant or suspicious lesions arising in the mucosa and decide whether or not a lesion should be biopsied [7-9]. This topic will review the dermoscopic features of pigmented and nonpigmented mucosal lesions and the dermoscopic criteria for differentiating benign from malignant tumors. The principles of dermoscopy and the dermoscopic evaluation of skin lesions, facial lesions, and lesions of the palms and soles are discussed elsewhere.

(See "Overview of dermoscopy".)

(See "Dermoscopic evaluation of skin lesions".)

(See "Dermoscopy of facial lesions".)


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Literature review current through: Sep 2016. | This topic last updated: Jun 29, 2016.
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