BACKGROUND: Dermoscopy improves the diagnostic accuracy in pigmented skin lesions, but it is also useful in the evaluation of nonpigmented skin tumours as it allows the recognition of vascular structures that are not visible to the naked eye. Bowen's disease (BD) or squamous cell carcinoma in situ is usually nonpigmented, but may also rarely be pigmented. Objective To describe the dermoscopic features in a series of pigmented and nonpigmented BD. METHODS: Dermoscopic images of 21 histopathologically proven BD were evaluated for the presence of various dermoscopic features. Each lesion was photographed using the Dermaphot (Heine Optotechnik, Herrsching, Germany), at 10-fold magnification, and the colour slides were scanned to digital format using a Kodak Photo CD system. RESULTS: The majority of cases of BD revealed a peculiar dermoscopic pattern characterized by glomerular vessels (90%) and a scaly surface (90%). In addition, in pigmented BD small brown globules regularly packed in a patchy distribution (90%), and structureless grey to brown pigmentation (80%) were observed. CONCLUSIONS: Dermoscopy can be helpful for diagnosing BD because of the presence of repetitive morphological findings such as glomerular vessels and a scaly surface. In pigmented BD, small brown globules and/or homogeneous pigmentation can be seen as well.
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