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Keywords:

  • dermoscopy;
  • Hutchinson's lentigo;
  • lentigo maligna;
  • melanoma;
  • skin cancer

Summary

Up until now, only lesions selected on the basis of their clinical atypia or which appear equivocal on naked eye examination have been shown to benefit from the use of dermoscopy. In our experience, dermoscopic evaluation of lesions located on the face may require a different approach, as a histopathological diagnosis of malignancy is not uncommon in clinically trivial lesions (i.e. lesions lacking the ABCD criteria for clinical suspicion). Moreover, at this site dermoscopy reveals specific criteria according to the particular histological architecture shown by sun-damaged skin. We report four cases of lentigo maligna (LM) of the face whose identification depended on dermoscopic examination which was performed routinely on all facial lesions, as the lesions did not show ABCD clinical criteria for malignancy. In our experience, the identification of early signs of malignancy by dermoscopy may indicate the excision of LM at an early phase, before the lesion is associated with the ABCD signs of melanoma. Dermatologists should avoid the mistake of immediately excluding a diagnosis of malignancy when examining an ABCD-negative pigmented skin lesion of the face.