Katz Dermatology, An affiliate of Anne Arundel Dermatology, Rockville, MD

Katz Dermatology on Nevi

What are Nevi?

Nevi, or Nevus in singular form, is the medical and dermatological term for the common mole. Commonly, Nevi are small growths on the skin that usually pink, tan, or brown in pigment, having a distinct edge and could vary in size and shape. There are some cases that these nevi could result to skin cancer, specifically, melanoma.

In some cases, nevi could cover large part of the body, but dermatologists vary on definitions on describing nevi large. The common basis are the following:

  • A surgical dermatologists would require more than one surgical removal or excision. If a nevi covers more than 2% of the patient's total body exterior, or is larger than the patient's palm.
  • If it would measure over eight (8) inches, twenty (20) centimeters, at its largest point on a fully-grown adult. This definition when applied to infants and children, a nevi would be large if the nevi is expected to be the said size by adulthood.
  • If it covers a large portion of a major anatomical body part, such as on the head, arms and legs.

The term giant is rarely used when describing a nevi that covers a very large part of the body.

Are nevi cancerous?

According to Dr. Matthew Katz, not all nevi are cancerous. Only certain kinds of nevi are, such as the Dysplastic Nevi, which are also referred to by dermatologists as atypical moles.

Dermatologists define Dysplastic Nevi as an unusual benign moles that may look like or resemble to melanoma. The higher the number of these nevi the higher the risk of having skin cancer. According to dermatology experts and studies, those having 10 or more dysplastic nevi are 12 times at risk of having melanoma over the general population.

Are there any dermatology procedures for nevi removal?

Yes, there are dermatology procedures for nevi removal, and most of those procedures are under Surgical Dermatology. These surgical procedures are Excision and Excision with cauterization.

Excision is a surgical dermatology procedure which involves cutting of the nevi with or without stitches, depending on the depth of the nevi. Excision with cauterization involves cutting and burning the nevi away. Dermatology procedures and treatment for nevi varies and depends to the cosmetic outcome desired by the patient.

I want one of my moles to be removed, will there any risks or complications after?

We at Katz Dermatology advise you to consult your trusted cosmetic or surgical dermatologist before undergoing any dermatology treatment. It is advisable to choose a dermatologists with appropriate skill in order to reduce or avoid any complications.

Though one of the most common problem after undergoing to nevi removal is the scar. Since most nevi removal are for cosmetic and aesthetic purposes, most patients are unaware of the resulting scar. Your trusted surgical dermatologist could give you an idea where a scar may appear after the procedure and/or could write you a prescription cream or ointment to avoid the development of a scar.

If you have anymore questions regarding nevi and removal procedures, you should visit your nearest and trusted dermatologist. If you are in Rockville or in North Bethesda or Gaithersburg, Maryland (MD), contact us or schedule an appointment. Visit us at Katz Dermatology Clinic located at Rockville, Maryland (MD) for your nevi concerns and other problems.