Epidermal Nevi

Also known as: epidermal nevus, epidermal nevus syndromes, EN’s

What are epidermal nevi?

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. Epidermal nevi appear at birth or within the first years of life and may grow in size before adolescents. There are a number of types and some syndromes that can cause problems in bones, brain, and other organs.

What causes epidermal nevi?

Genetic mutations that are present in the child at birth appear to be the cause of some epidermal nevi and these are not generally inherited from parents.

What are the symptoms of epidermal nevi?

Other than the unusual skin formations, there are frequently no symptoms. In some cases, epidermal nevi syndromes are present along with other birth defects, and other organ problems. All nevi should be monitored for changes by your pediatrician.

What are epidermal nevi care options?

Some cases of epidermal nevi do not require treatment. Others can be removed surgically if desired for cosmetic or other reasons.


Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: August 30, 2021 12:37 PM

Children's Dermatology

The Division of Dermatology at Nicklaus Children's Hospital focuses on the latest medications and technology available for the specialized treatment of all skin diseases and disorders affecting children of all ages.

Learn more

Upcoming Events

Virtual 3rd Annual Vascular Birthmarks Meeting

Date: Saturday, November 13, 2021

Learn more about the diagnosis, treatment and outcomes of vascular birthmarks in children and adolescents. Learn more.

Register Online

Learn more about

Atypical (Dysplastic) Nevi

Melanocytic, dysplastic, or atypical nevi are the scientific terms to describe an atypical, or unusual-looking, overwhelmingly benign mole, which are very common in children. Learn more