European Journal of Dermatology


Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the diagnosis of malignant melanoma: a retrospective study Volume 32, numéro 5, September-October 2022


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Department of Dermatology, Vienna Healthcare Group, Clinic Hietzing, Pavillon 7, Wolkersbergenstraße 1, 1130 Vienna, Austria
Reprints: Robert Feldmann


The COVID-19 pandemic has influenced health care services all around the globe, which is also reflected in the diagnosis and management of malignant melanoma (MM).


We performed a retrospective assessment of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the diagnosis of MM in order to evaluate the effects of the pandemic on MM care.

Materials & Methods

The Breslow thickness of excised MM and total number of patients with newly diagnosed MM who underwent surgery during the first year of the pandemic (March, 2020 to February, 2021; 227 subjects) were compared relative to a control period the year before (March, 2019 to February, 2020; 201 subjects), based on a retrospective study design.


There was no significant decrease in the total number of excisions (227 subjects in the pre-COVID cohort vs. 201 in the COVID cohort). However, the mean Breslow thickness increased significantly from 1.1±1.4 mm in the pre-COVID group to 1.8±2.3 mm in the COVID group.


We conclude that, due to several restrictions in the early phase of the pandemic, melanomas were diagnosed at a more advanced stage.