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(US), nevus
any congenital growth or pigmented blemish on the skin; birthmark or mole



(mole, birthmark), a congenital malformation of the skin in which some areas differ in color from the rest of the skin and/or have a peculiar warty appearance. Nevi are not confined to any particular area. They can be present at birth or develop during the first few years of life or even later.

Vascular nevi, or hemangiomas, are characterized by varying sizes, uneven edges, and a pink or bluish red color. They become pale when pressed and may be flat, superficial (capillary nevi), or nodular. They are embedded in the thickest part of the skin and have an uneven cavernous surface (cavernous nevi). Verrucoid nevi occur as singular or multiple patches of different shapes, are muddy gray or brown in color, and have an uneven keratotic surface. Pigmented nevi are light brown to almost black in color; they can be the size of a pinhead, or they can cover large areas of the skin. The surfaces of pigmented nevi may be uneven and covered with hair (Becker’s nevi).

Self-treatment of pigmented spots is dangerous because frequent injury may cause them to degenerate into melanomas, whereupon the nevi enlarge, become firmer, and change color. New pigmented spots may appear in the same area, and the regional lymph nodes may become enlarged.

Electrocoagulation, cryotherapy, surgical dissection, and radiotherapy are used to treat nevi.


Shanin, A. P. “Nevusy.” In Mnogotomnoe rukovodstvo po dermatologii, vol. 3. Moscow, 1964.



A lesion containing melanocytes.
References in periodicals archive ?
Proliferative activity in the malignant cellular blue nevus.
Summary of Histologic Features of Cellular Blue Nevus, Atypical Cellular Blue Nevus, Malignant Blue Nevus, and Pigmented Epithelioid Melanocytoma Cellular Blue Nevus Cytologic atypia Rare to occasional Mitotic activity Rare Atypical mitosis Absent Necrosis Absent Ulceration Rare Lymphovascular invasion Absent Epidermal hyperplasia Absent Pigmentation Variable Border Usually well circumscribed Immunohistochemistry HMB-45+ Atypical Cellular Blue Nevus Cytologic atypia Intermediate Mitotic activity Usually < 3/[mm.
Cellular blue nevus with atypia (atypical cellular blue nevus): a clinicopathologic study of nine cases.