Several common inflammatory dermatoses, such as rosacea, seborrheic dermatitis (SD), discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE) and granulomatous skin diseases manifest as erythematous macules or plaques on the facial skin. Although clinical examination represents the cornerstone of diagnosis, the broad variety of clinical features and uncommon presentations of these diseases may cause at times diagnostic and therapeutic uncertainty. Dermoscopy, in addition to its well-documented value in evaluation of skin tumours, is continuously gaining appreciation also in the field of general dermatology.


To describe and compare the dermoscopic patterns of common facial inflammatory skin diseases including SD, erythematotelangiectatic rosacea (ER), sarcoidosis, lupus vulgaris (LV), DLE and granuloma faciale (GF).


Dermoscopic images of lesions from patients with histopathologically confirmed diagnosis of SD, ER, sarcoidosis, LV, DLE or GF were retrospectively evaluated for the presence of several criteria. Selection of the dermoscopic variables included in the evaluation process was based on the data available in the literature and on our preliminary observations.


One hundred and fifteen dermoscopic images were included in the study. SD was dermoscopically characterized by dotted vessels and yellow scales, whereas ER was typified by a characteristic pattern of vascular polygons. Sarcoidosis and LV very commonly exhibited orange-yellowish areas and linear branching vessels. Features related to follicle abnormalities and linear branching vessels were the most common dermoscopic criteria of DLE and GF.


This study provides new insights into the dermoscopic variability in common facial inflammatory dermatoses.