Dysplastic Nevi Information and Treatment
"Atypical moles" also referred to as Clark's nevi
or dysplastic nevi are moles that are considered to be precancerous
or more likely to turn into melanoma than regular moles. Dysplastic
nevi are generally larger than ordinary moles and have irregular and
indistinct borders marked by melanocytic dysplasia. The diagnosis of
atypical moles is made clinically and not histologically, and moles
should be removed only if they are suspected to be melanomas.
Clinically, these moles are large (> 5 mm in diameter), with an
ill-defined, irregular border and irregularly distributed
pigmentation. It is estimated that in Dysplastic Nevi 5-10% of the
United States population have one or more atypical nevi. Dysplastic
Nevi have defined an increased risk of melanoma in the following
populations patients with 50 or more nevi with one or more atypical
moles and one mole at least 8 mm or larger, and patients with a few
to many definitely atypical moles. These patients of Dysplastic Nevi
deserve education and regular (usually every 6-12 months) follow-up.
Kindreds with familial melanoma (numerous atypical nevi and a strong
family history) deserve even closer attention, as the risk of
developing single or even multiple melanomas in these individuals
approaches 50% by age 50.
Atypical naevi are moles (melanocytic naevi) that have unusual
features such as an indistinct edge and/or larger size. A dysplastic
nevus can even give rise to malignant melanoma. They usually have a
macular component and keep on changing there shape. The borders are
irregular and often hazy. There may be variation of color, with
admixtures of tan, brown, and pink. When a pathologist looks at an
atypical mole under the microscope, it has features that are
in-between a normal mole and a melanoma. Most experts believe that
atypical moles are at higher risk of turning into melanoma as
compared to normal moles. Melanoma is a deadly form of skin cancer
which kills quickly if not removed in time.