Acquired melanocytic nevi (moles)
- Julie V Schaffer, MD
Julie V Schaffer, MD
- Attending in Pediatric Dermatology
- Director, Pediatric Dermatology Fellowship
- Division of Pediatric & Adolescent Dermatology
- Hackensack University Medical Center
- Jean L Bolognia, MD
Jean L Bolognia, MD
- Professor of Dermatology
- Yale University School of Medicine
- Section Editors
- Moise L Levy, MD
Moise L Levy, MD
- Section Editor — Pediatric Dermatology
- Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine (Dermatology)
- Dell Medical School, University of Texas, Austin
- Clinical Professor of Dermatology and Pediatrics
- Baylor College of Medicine
- Robert P Dellavalle, MD, PhD, MSPH
Robert P Dellavalle, MD, PhD, MSPH
- Section Editor — Dermatology
- Professor of Dermatology and Public Health
- Denver VA Medical Center, University of Colorado School of Medicine and Colorado School of Public Health
- Hensin Tsao, MD, PhD
Hensin Tsao, MD, PhD
- Section Editor — Melanocytic Lesions and Disorders of Pigmentation
- Professor of Dermatology
- Harvard Medical School
Acquired melanocytic nevi will be discussed here. Congenital melanocytic nevi and other benign pigmented lesions are discussed separately. (See "Congenital melanocytic nevi" and "Benign pigmented skin lesions other than melanocytic nevi (moles)".)
Melanocytic nevi are benign proliferations of a type of melanocyte known as a "nevus cell." The two major differences between ordinary melanocytes that reside in the basal layer of the epidermis and nevus cells are:
●Nevus cells cluster as nests within the lower epidermis and/or dermis, whereas epidermal melanocytes are evenly dispersed as single units.
●Nevus cells do not have dendritic processes (with the exception of those within blue nevi).
Both melanocytes and nevus cells are capable of producing the pigment melanin. Melanocytic nevi may be congenital or acquired. Acquired nevi can be classified as common (banal) or atypical, and there are several additional variants, including halo nevi, blue nevi, and Spitz nevi.
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- Predisposing factors
- COMMON ACQUIRED MELANOCYTIC NEVI
- Clinical features
- - General features
- - Nevi on palms/soles
- - Nevi originating from the nail matrix
- Natural history
- ATYPICAL NEVI
- HALO NEVI
- Clinical features
- BLUE NEVI
- Clinical features
- Differential diagnosis
- SPITZ NEVI
- Clinical features
- BIOPSY CONSIDERATIONS
- Possible indications
- Other considerations
- SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS