Because of the increasing incidence of skin cancer, interest in using the autofluorescence of skin tissue as a noninvasive tool for early diagnosis is enforced. Focus is especially on malignant melanotic melanoma. On the basis of a newly developed method to selectively excite melanin fluorescence of skin tissue by stepwise two-photon excitation with nanosecond laser pulses at , we have investigated information from this melanin fluorescence with respect to the differentiation of pigmented lesions. A distinct difference in the melanin fluorescence spectrum of malignant melanoma (including melanoma in situ) when compared to that of benign melanocytic lesions (i.e., common nevi) has been found for freshly excised samples as well as for histopathological samples. There is also specific fluorescence from dysplastic nevi. In this way, early detection of malignant melanoma is possible.