Dermoscopic features of cutaneous leishmaniasis


  • Conflicts of interest: None.



Previous studies have demonstrated that dermoscopy improves accuracy in diagnosing pigmented and non-pigmented tumors. Recently, there has been increasing evidence that dermoscopy can also be useful in the diagnosis of some skin infections.


We sought to describe the dermoscopic features of cutaneous leishmaniasis.


Dermoscopic examination (using the Derm Lite FOTO, 3Gen) of 144 CL lesions in 82 patients was performed. This study was conducted in the Imam Reza and Ghaem hospitals (Mashhad, Iran) from October 2010 to September 2011.


We observed the following dermoscopic features: generalized erythema (81.9%), white starbursts (60.4%), yellow hue (43.8%), yellow teardrop-like structures (41.7%), central ulcers (59%), hyperkeratosis (33.3%), and milia-like cysts (4.9%). We also observed vascular structures, including dotted vessels (61.1%), hairpin vessels (37.5%), linear irregular vessels (30.6%), comma-shaped vessels (29.9%), glomerular vessels (22.9%), arborizing telangiectasia (10.4%), and corkscrew vessels (4.2%).


Biopsy and pathologic evaluation were not performed due to ethical considerations.


Important vascular patterns seen in melanocytic and non-melanocytic tumors were frequently observed in this infection. Dermoscopy may be a promising tool to predict the clinical course in cases of cutaneous leishmaniasis.