Atypical (Dysplastic) Nevi
Also known as: melanocytic nevi, dysplastic nevi, atypical mole
What are melanocytic/dysplastic/atypical nevi?
Melanocytic, dysplastic, or atypical nevi are the scientific terms to describe an atypical, or unusual-looking, overwhelmingly benign, or non-cancerous mole, which are very common in children. They may be congenital or acquired.
What causes melanocytic/dysplastic/atypical nevi?
There appears to be a genetic component to some atypical nevi, as they tend to run in families. Some are secondary to sun exposure, however, some atypical nevi have unknown causes.
What are the symptoms of melanocytes/dysplastic/atypical nevi?
Congenital moles are tan to deep brown and are frequently present at birth. They may have an irregular shape with borders that are not clearly defined. They may be small or large, single or multiple. Significantly large or giant congenital moles have an increased risk of becoming malignant and may have problems with some of these moles developing in the brain.
Acquired moles may develop at any age, usually after the age of 2 years, and risk factors include fair skin, blue eyes, red hair, and an inability to tan. They are usually small and range in color from light brown to dark brown. Dysplastic nevi are usually large (> 6mm), and often have a fried egg appearance.
What are melanocytes/dysplastic/atypical nevi care options?
Depending on the type of mole and whether there are risk factors associated with it, no treatment or surgical removal may be necessary. All parents should be vigilant about protecting their children's skin from the sun.
Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP
This page was last updated on: August 31, 2021 03:17 PM
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Epidermal nevi are abnormal benign, or non-cancerous, large patches featuring plaques of flat or slightly raised brown skin or nodules/domes that can be smooth or rough and are sometimes found on the skin of the face, the torso, or arms.
Benign Skin Growths
Any marks, bumps, moles, lumps, spots, skin tags, or other imperfections on the skin that are not cancerous are known as benign skin growths.