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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 ?
Only one dysplastic nevus puts a person at twice the risk, while those with ten or more are twelve times at risk.
Grossman referenced four cases in the medical literature in which the diagnosis was changed upon reexcision from dysplastic nevus to melanoma.
Sporadic dysplastic nevus syndrome is a spontaneous mutation that increases the relative risk of malignancy up to 46 times that of the general population, he said.
The concept of the dysplastic nevus (DN) and its association with melanoma entered the literature around 1978 with the description by Clark et al (24) of the familial BK mole syndrome, (24,25) a concept subsequently clarified and expanded to include nonfamilial, sporadic cases.
The pathology diagnosis of dysplastic nevus might be wrong the focus of the melanoma could have been missed, or a melanoma could arise from residual cells within the dysplastic nevus with positive margins.
The main differential diagnoses include dysplastic nevus and vulvar melanoma.
The familial melanoma syndrome is not equivalent to the dysplastic nevus syndrome," a mantra that should prompt doctors to ask patients about their family histories even if patients don't look like they have any melanoma risk factors, she said.
7% of children had sporadic dysplastic nevi and 9% had dysplastic nevus syndrome.
Weedon, (6) who seems to consider lentiginous melanoma as synonymous with atypical lentiginous junctional dysplastic nevus (of the elderly) (see discussion below), reported, in a letter, his personal experience with more than 100 cases and stated that this entity has "a propensity for the shoulders/upper back/deltoid region of the elderly," but it also occurs in younger individuals, especially on the lower legs of females.
It is not clear if patients with dysplastic nevus syndrome have higher incidence of conjunctival nevi.
Nevertheless if slide 3 had not been obtained, several clinically important diagnoses would have been missed (squamous cell carcinomas in situ [2], dysplastic nevus [1], and a severely dysplastic nevus [1]).