Clark's Nevus Mole Treatment,
This patient information and photographs on Dysplastic Nevi is provided by John L. Meisenheimer, M.D. a board certified Dermatologist and skin care specialist based in Orlando, Florida. This information is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice or treatment of a dermatologist or other physician.
What is it? A dysplastic nevus, occasionally called a Clark's nevus, is an abnormal mole. They can occur at any age and anywhere on the skin. Dysplastic nevi are usually tan, brown, or dark brown in color. They are often wider than an eraser head of a pencil and regularly have indistinct borders.
What causes it? Dysplastic nevi are moles that have begun to grow abnormally. Nobody understands the reason for this abnormal growth, but I and many other skin specialists believe that excessive sun exposure increases the risk for developing these moles. In a small number of families the tendency to grow these moles may be inherited.
Is it dangerous? Dysplastic nevi are not cancers, but many skin cancer experts believe these growths have more potential to turn into the melanoma type of skin cancer than normal moles. Because at times it is difficult to tell if a melanoma has begun to grow within a dysplastic nevus, it may be necessary to do a biopsy. With a biopsy these growths can be examined under a microscope to check for melanoma cells.
Can it be cured? On occasion a biopsy may be all that is needed. In moles that have more atypical cells the pathologist may recommend an excision after the biopsy. Since this is not a cancer, the removal I do will be all you need. On a rare occasion it may begin to regrow and I will need to re-examine the area. Re-growth is usually not dangerous, but it should be checked.
Will I get more? Some people have more than one dysplastic nevi, and new dysplastic nevi may continue to form. You should make yourself familiar with the warning signs of skin cancer, and if you see any suspicious new growths you should point them out to me. I recommend sunscreens for those that have a history of dysplastic nevi. Sunscreen recommendations.
Is it contagious? They are not contagious and you cannot catch them from anyone.