Dysplastic nevi are a fairly common type of mole. These moles (often called atypical moles) do not necessarily lead to skin cancer, but they are more likely than normal moles to develop into malignant melanoma.
These moles do not usually cause symptoms such as itching, burning, or pain. Therefore, periodic visual inspection of the moles is often the only way to become aware of a problem mole.
Examine your skin on a regular basis, and become familiar with your moles, and other skin conditions, to help identify changes.
Notify your physician if you notice a change in the size, shape, or color of any of your moles.
Dysplastic nevi may be hereditary. Sun exposure may lead to development of new moles or changes in existing moles, and may increase the risk of malignant melanoma over time.
Mole mapping, a relatively new diagnostic tool, allows us to more accurately monitor changes in a patient’s moles, and aids in the detection of new moles. Pictures of the moles are stored in a secure database, and are used to compare and document changes in the moles. Mole mapping is highly recommended for people with dysplastic nevi and a family history of skin cancers.
Dysplastic nevi may have similarities to melanoma. In some cases Dermoscopy (examination of the mole with a special lens) may help your dermatologist tell the difference between a dysplastic mole and melanoma. Sometimes, it is necessary to remove the mole for microscopic examination to be sure.
Always consult your physician for a diagnosis.