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(US), nevus
any congenital growth or pigmented blemish on the skin; birthmark or mole
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(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.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


A lesion containing melanocytes.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
One patient each with nevus spilus had nevus of Ota and a melanocytic nevus in association-only one such association each has been reported in the literature.15,16 Brown and Gorlin demonstrated oral mucosal involvement in a case of nevus unius lateris.13 Lesions of nevus sebaceous can extend on to the oral mucosa.17 Port-wine stain can involve the oral mucosa either alone or with other associated syndromes.18 In case of nevus of Ota, ipsilateral eye shows a diffuse bluish discoloration of the sclera and a patchy brownish color of the conjunctiva.
Out of 14 patients of nevus of Ota, 12 patients had conjunctival pigmentation and in one patient there was oral mucosal pigmentation.
An unusual case of nevus of Ota combined with nevus spilus.
Male-to-female ratio is 1:4.8 for nevus of Ota. Acquired bilateral nevus of Ota-like macules (ABNOM) or Hori's nevus which was first described by Hori et al.3 in 1984 presents as asymptomatic blue-brown or slate-gray colored macules, located bilaterally on the face, without mucosal involvement.
In contrast to the nevus of Ota, the mongolian spot is present at birth and usually diminishes at about the age of 5-7 years.7,8 The lumbosacral area is the common site, whereas the nevus of Ota develops in the skin adjacent to the eye.7,8 Ito's nevus is another dermal lesion distinguishable from the nevus of Ota only by its typical localization on the shoulder, neck, supraclavicular area and upper arm.
This may perhaps explain why patients with nevus of Ota are at a higher risk of developing uveal melanoma.
Blue nevus and its distinction from Mongolian spot and the nevus of Ota. J Invest Dermatol.