Discrimination of pigmented and vascular lesions in skin can be difficult due to factors such as size, subungual location, and the nature of lesions containing both melanin and vascularity. Misdiagnosis may lead to precancerous or cancerous lesions not receiving proper medical care. To aid in the rapid and accurate diagnosis of such pathologies, we develop a photoacoustic system to determine the nature of skin lesions in vivo. By irradiating skin with two laser wavelengths, 422 and , we induce photoacoustic responses, and the relative response at these two wavelengths indicates whether the lesion is pigmented or vascular. This response is due to the distinct absorption spectrum of melanin and hemoglobin. In particular, pigmented lesions have ratios of photoacoustic amplitudes of approximately 1.4 to 1 at the two wavelengths, while vascular lesions have ratios of about 4.0 to 1. Furthermore, we consider two statistical methods for conducting classification of lesions: standard multivariate analysis classification techniques and a Bayesian-model-based approach. We study 15 human subjects with eight vascular and seven pigmented lesions. Using the classical method, we achieve a perfect classification rate, while the Bayesian approach has an error rate of 20%.