What is a dysplastic nevus?
A dysplastic nevus is a mole that exists in the spectrum between a benign mole and melanoma. When looked at with a microscope, the cells of a dysplastic nevus have atypical features and growth pattern, but not to the degree of being cancerous.
What causes dysplastic nevi?
Genetics and sun exposure combine to play a role in the development of dysplastic nevi. Sometimes they can develop on parts of the skin that received little or no sun exposure.
How is a dysplastic nevus diagnosed?
Dysplastic nevi are diagnosed after a biopsy is done on a suspicious mole.
My doctor told me I have a moderately dysplastic nevus. What does this mean?
Dysplastic nevi are categorized as mild, moderate, or severe. Remember, a dysplastic nevus is a mole that exists in the spectrum between a benign mole and melanoma. A mildly dysplastic nevus is closer on that spectrum to a benign mole, whereas a severely dysplastic nevus is closer to a melanoma.
How are dysplastic nevi treated?
The best way to treat a dysplastic nevus depends on its category. Mildly dysplastic nevi do not need further treatment, while severely dysplastic nevi should be surgically removed. There is less consensus among leading physicians on the best treatment option for moderately dysplastic nevi. Your dermatologist will go over your treatment options in detail.
What is my prognosis if I have a dysplastic nevus?
Those diagnosed with dysplastic nevi have an excellent prognosis. However, if you have a history of dysplastic nevi you have a greater risk of developing melanoma in the future. Therefore, it is recommended that you have regular skin check-ups with your dermatologist.