“Dysplastic nevus” refers to an unusual or atypical mole. Regular moles are symmetrical with round borders and a uniform color, and they are less than a quarter-inch wide. Atypical moles, or dysplatic nevi, can have multiple colors, from pink to dark brown, and may be asymmetrical and large in size. These moles can occur anywhere on the body, but they are typically found on skin that has received large amounts of sun exposure.
When viewed under a microscope, a dysplastic nevus’ disorganized architecture can vary from mild to severe; a severe disorder has a chance of turning into melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer. Dysplastic nevi can be hereditary. If an immediate member of your family has had dysplastic nevi, we encourage you to visit the dermatologist regularly for skin exams. If our providers diagnose a mole as dysplastic nevus, we may perform a biopsy to examine the mole under a microscope. We will then determine if the mole needs to be removed completely.
You can take steps to reduce your chances of developing dysplastic nevi, such as:
- Avoiding tanning and tanning beds
- Using a broad-spectrum sunscreen and reapply every two hours of sun exposure, or after swimming or exercising
- Keep newborns out of the sun
- Examine your skin from head to toe every month
- Visit your physician at least once a year for a professional skin exam
You can learn more about the nature and treatment of dysplastic nevi in Palm Desert, California, by contacting Dermatology & Plastic Surgery Specialists at 760-773-6616 and scheduling a consultation with Dr. Michael J. Messina.