Author(s): Kovalyshyn I, Braun R, Marghoob A
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Abstract Congenital melanocytic naevi, consisting of clusters of naevo-melanocytes, develop in utero. Although many congenital naevi are visible at birth, some may not become evident until later in life. The timing of naevo-melanocyte proliferation, senescence and melanogenesis may all contribute towards determining when a naevus will become clinically manifest on the skin. Besides the fact that congenital melanocytic naevi may be aesthetically displeasing, resulting in a multitude of psychosocial issues, they also increase the risk for developing cutaneous melanoma, leptomeningeal melanoma, neurocutaneous melanocytosis, malformations of the brain and, rarely, other tumours such as rhabdomyosarcoma and liposarcoma. Whereas the risk of developing malignancy in association with congenital naevi is dependent, to some extent, on the size of the naevus, the risk of developing neurocutaneous melanocytosis correlates best with the number of satellite naevi. Management of patients with congenital melanocytic naevi requires individualization, taking into account the naevus size and location, and the risk of developing cutaneous melanoma or neurocutaneous melanocytosis. When contemplating treatment options, it is important to set realistic expectations and to address the possible aesthetic and functional outcomes, while at the same time addressing the risk for developing cutaneous and/or extracutaneous melanoma.
This article was published in Australas J Dermatol
and referenced in Dermatology and Dermatologic Diseases