Signs and Symptoms of Dysplastic Nevus

Dysplastic nevi usually begin to appear in adolescence, most often on the back, chest, abdomen, buttocks, and scalp. They usually are larger than ordinary nevi, averaging about 1 cm in size. Unlike common nevi, they are colored in varying shades of tan and brown. Sometimes they display an elevated darker portion in the center, with a flat, pale, fuzzy border, giving the appearance of a "fried egg."

When removed and examined microscopically, dysplastic nevi possess certain typical characteristics. The pigment cells show varying degrees of atypicality and usually are seen broadly throughout the skin.

Dysplastic Nevus Diagnosis

Dysplastic nevi often are diagnosed on the basis of their clinical appearance. Skin biopsy and evaluation are the best tools for assessing whether the mole is benign or malignant.

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 31 Aug 2000

Last Modified: 25 Sep 2015