Dysplastic Nevi are unusual benign moles that resemble melanoma and indicate an increased risk.
Medical reports indicate that at least 20 million Caucasians in the U.S. have dysplastic nevi and half of their close relatives may also be affected. Those who have dysplastic nevi and a family history of such nevi and melanoma have more than a 50% risk of developing melanoma by the age of sixty. Others who have dysplastic nevi, but not such a strong family history of melanoma, are also at significantly greater risk of developing risk is 6% – certainly great enough to warrant self-examination, medical checkups, and sun-protection.
A bright light held close to the skin will aid in identification. If any of your moles have some of the following characteristics of dysplastic nevi, you should consult the Dermatologists at Kathleen Hutton MD & Associates.
SHAPE: Often asymmetrical; one half looks obviously unlike the other.
BORDER: Irregular or hazy; the mole seems to gradually fade into the surrounding skin.
COLOR: Variation and irregularity with haphazard speckles of tan, brown, dark brown, or black (sometimes with a pinkish hue).
DIAMETER: Larger than normal – 1/4 inch to 1/3 inch or more.
LOCATION: Most commonly on the back, chest, abdomen, and extremities; may also occur on normally unexposed areas (such as buttocks, groin, or female breasts).