Colors used in pattern analysis

From dermoscopedia

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 Editor: Harald Kittler

 Author(s): Harald Kittler
Description This chapter covers the colorsThis glossary term has not yet been described. as used in pattern analysisThis glossary term has not yet been described.
Author(s) Harald Kittler
Responsible author Harald Kittler→ send e-mail
Status unknown
Status update January 25, 2019
Status by Ralph P. Braun



  • Depending on the layer of skin in which melanin is located, it may appear:
  1. Black: when located in the stratum corneum
  2. Brown: when located in the basal layers of the epidermis
  3. Gray: when located in the papillary dermis
  4. Blue: when located in the reticular dermis
  • The observed color depends on the density of melanin and the thickness of the epidermis:
  1. Dark-brown or nearly black: dense accumulation in the basal layer of the epidermis
  2. Light-brown: less dense accumulation
  3. Blue: the epidermis is thickened due to acanthosis (e.g. some seborrheic keratosesThis glossary term has not yet been described.)


Pigment ranges from bright red to blue, depending on the level of oxygen saturation in vesselsThis glossary term has not yet been described.

  • Dark red: coagulated blue, due to massive extravasation of red blood cells (i.e. hemorrhage)
  • Black: blood in the stratum corneum (corneal bleeding)
  • Red to blue: fresh blood in the dermis.
  • Green to brown: due to degradation of hemoglobin

Other colors

  • Orange: in cases of eroded lesions, that serum flows out of the surface, dries, and forms a crust.
  • Orange to yellow: mixture of the white or yellow of keratin with the brown of melanin (e.g. pigmented seborrheic keratoses)
  • White: fibrosis or sclerosis of the dermis