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False “Highlighting” with Wood’s Lamp


Address correspondence to Nanette B. Silverberg, M.D., Director, Pediatric and Adolescent Dermatology, Department of Dermatology, St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center, 1090 Amsterdam Avenue, Suite 11D, New York, NY 10025, or e-mail:


Abstract:  Wood's lamp evaluation is used to diagnose pigmentary disorders. For example, vitiligio typically demonstrates lesional enhancement under Wood's lamp evaluation. Numerous false positive enhancing lesions can be noted in the skin. We describe a 5-year-old Hispanic boy who had painted his face with highlighter, producing enhancing lesions under Wood's lamp. Physicians who use Wood's lamp should be aware that the appearance of markers and highlighter can mimic that of true clinical illnesses.