Dysplastic Nevi

A medical professional examines moles and freckles on a woman's back

Dysplastic nevi are moles that have an atypical appearance. They have a more unusual shape, color pattern and size than a typical mole. They are commonly indistinguishable from melanoma on physical exam and are found to be benign when biopsied. Although technically benign, these types of moles can change over time and can have a higher incidence of malignant transformation than normal moles. On the other hand, a majority of these moles do not transform into melanoma, but are frequently found on people diagnosed with melanoma.

Individuals with these moles have a higher risk than the general population of developing a melanoma. Therefore, it’s important to have periodic full body skin examinations by a professional and to perform self-exams and use sun protective measures.

Although dysplastic nevi are considered benign skin lesions, your provider may find that further treatment is necessary depending on the lesion’s features. If abnormal features in the cells of the mole are seen under a microscope after biopsy, surgical removal of the mole with a safety margin is recommended.

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