Diagnosing basal cell carcinoma by dermatoscopy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: Dermatoscopy (DS) has been used primarily to evaluate pigmented skin lesions. Little information is available on DS findings of basal cell carcinoma (BCC). Dermatoscopy is a noninvasive technique that allows visualization of cutaneous features from the skin surface to the papillary dermis. Basal cell carcinoma, the most common cutaneous malignancy, is traditionally diagnosed clinically and confirmed with biopsy. Objective: To determine the dermatoscopic features of nonpigmented basal cell carcinomas. Methods: The dermatoscopic findings of 27 lesions that clinically were suspicious for BCC were analyzed. Results: Of these 27 clinically suspect lesions, the biopsies revealed BCC in 20 specimens and squamous cell carci noma (SCC) in two specimens. Twenty of these 22 specimens had dermatoscopic findings of BCC: diffusely distributed, branching blood vessels, asymmetric, and narrow blood vessels distributed deeper in the dermis, or a milky-red corona with superficial wide blood vessels. One nodular BCC in our study showed no distinct findings. Conclusions: Many BCCs have characteristic DS findings; however, dermatoscopic examination of some tumours will not demonstrate any known characteristic findings. As such, the DS criteria we propose for BCC are best utilized as an adjunctive study of clinical impressions. Biopsy remains the definitive diagnostic tool.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)62-67
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 1998

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Dermatology


Dive into the research topics of 'Diagnosing basal cell carcinoma by dermatoscopy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this