Dysplastic Nevi (atypical moles; atypical nevi) are potential precursors of malignant melanoma, the most aggressive form of skin cancer. Only a small proportion of dysplastic nevi transform into melanoma The higher the number of these moles someone has, the higher the risk; those who have 10 or more have 12 times the risk of developing melanoma as compared with the general population.
Medical reports indicate that about 2 to 8 percent of the Caucasian population have these moles. At times it is difficult to distinguish dysplastic nevi and early melanomas. Often, a hand held magnification device called a dermatoscope is used. When concerning features are noted, the mole is removed so that it can be examined under the microscope and the definitive diagnosis can be established.
Patients with numerous dysplastic nevi are at high risk of developing malignant melanoma. Mole mapping technology allows for early melanoma detection; read more here. If you have a concerning mole, please book an appointment.