Atypical Nevus Cleveland
Atypical nevi, also known as atypical moles, are benign lesions that have visual characteristics different from those of common nevi. Their appearance violates one or more of the ABCDE guidelines of melanoma which include: asymmetry, uneven border, color variability, diameter of 6mm or more, evolution or change, and appearance different from other moles.
Atypical nevi generally first appear during adolescence, although they can develop during any period of your life. They are composed of melanocytes (cells that make the pigment in your skin) that grow in disorganized clusters instead of being evenly distributed throughout your skin.
Family history, overexposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays, and hormonal changes during puberty and pregnancy are also contributing factors in their development.
Atypical nevi can be found anywhere on the body, but are most commonly found in sun-exposed areas such as the back, chest, abdomen and extremities. While they are benign, people with multiple atypical nevi may be at increased risk of developing melanoma. Therefore, it is important to perform regular self-skin checks and to be familiar with the ABCDEs of melanoma.
Procedures that may be performed include; shave biopsy, punch biopsy, or excisional biopsy. All aim to remove the entire pigmented lesion so that it may be examined under the microscope to determine the severity of the nevus and to rule out the possibility of melanoma.