Dermoscopy allows the identification of many different structures and colors. Colors that are seen with the dermoscope include light brown, dark brown, black, blue, blue-gray, red and white. The color of melanin depends on its location. Melanin in the stratum corneum and the upper epidermis appears black. Melanin in the mid epidermis and basal layer of the epidermis is light to dark brown. Deposits in the papillary dermis appear gray and gray-blue in the reticular dermis. The color blue occurs when there is melanin localized within the deeper parts of the dermis such as occurs with blue nevi. The color red is associated with an increased number of blood vessels or dilatation of blood vessels, trauma, or neovascularization. The color white can be a sign of regression or scarring.
Melanin location and lesion color
Upper epidermis (stratum corneum) – Black Dermoepidermal junction – Light-to-dark brown Papillary dermis – Slate blue Reticular dermis – Steel blue