The ringlike pattern in vulvar melanosis: A new dermoscopic clue for diagnosis

Angela Ferrari, Pierluigi Buccini, Renato Covello, Paola De Simone, Vitaliano Silipo, Giustino Mariani, Laura Eibenschutz, Luciano Mariani, Caterina Catricalà

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Vulvar melanosis is a benign pigmented lesion that may clinically mimic melanoma. Whereas the dermoscopic features of other pigmented skin lesions have been extensively described, little is known about vulvar melanosis. Observations: A retrospective dermoscopic study was conducted on 87 lesions with histopathologically proved melanosis. We describe and define, for the first time to our knowledge, a ringlike pattern, found in 28 of 87 melanotic lesions (32%), characterized by multiple round to oval structures, white to tan, with dark brown, well-defined regular borders. The structureless and globular-like patterns were observed in 18 of 87 lesions (21%), the parallel pattern in 15 (17%), and the cobblestone-like and reticularlike patterns in 4 (5%). A significant association was found between the distribution of multifocal lesions showing a ringlike vs a nonringlike pattern (82% vs 52%; P=.008), whereas a weak association was found between anatomical site and the different patterns (P=.55). The ringlike pattern was frequently combined with multifocality and simultaneous occurrence at the labia majora and the labia minora. Conclusion: Dermoscopy can be useful for the clinical detection of vulvar melanosis, and the ringlike pattern may represent a new dermoscopic clue for the diagnosis of this lesion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1030-1034
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of Dermatology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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