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Br J Dermatol. 2005 Jul;153(1):97-102.

Epidermolysis bullosa naevi reveal a distinctive dermoscopic pattern.

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  • 1Department of Dermatology, Paracelsus Private Medical University, Muellner Hauptstrasse 48, A-5020 Salzburg, Austria.



Large, asymmetrical and irregularly pigmented naevi in patients with epidermolysis bullosa (EB) have been reported often to mimic cutaneous melanoma clinically.


As the biological course of these peculiar moles is benign, we assessed EB naevi with a dermatoscope to determine whether they could be reliably differentiated from cutaneous melanoma.


We evaluated digital dermoscopic images of 23 EB naevi from 11 patients with EB and analysed these pigmented lesions according to pattern analysis, ABCD rule of dermoscopy and the seven-point checklist.


Melanoma-associated dermoscopic criteria such as multicomponent pattern (20 of 23), atypical pigment network (17 of 23), irregular dots/globules (16 of 23), irregular pigmentation (22 of 23) and an atypical vascular pattern (seven of 23) were frequently seen in EB naevi. In contrast, other criteria frequently associated with melanoma progression, such as irregular streaks, blue-whitish veil, regression structures (blue-whitish areas) or black dots, were rarely seen. Most lesions gave false-positive results when the scores of the dermoscopic diagnostic algorithms were calculated.


Recurring dermoscopic structures in EB naevi reveal a distinctive dermoscopic pattern of this recently defined entity. Although EB naevi represent an exception to dermoscopic diagnostic algorithms, their dermoscopic evaluation most often allows us to estimate their benign nature. Nevertheless, as an unequivocal discrimination from malignant melanoma in vivo is sometimes not possible, regular clinical follow up of EB naevi with histopathological evaluation of highly suspicious lesions is mandatory.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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