Atypical Nevus

If you’re concerned about the appearance of a dark spot or spots on your skin, please don’t hesitate to contact us online today or call 212-535-3088. Dr. Michele S. Green, a board certified NYC dermatologist, practices the latest techniques and is at the forefront of skin cancer detection and treatment.

Atypical Nevus

An atypical nevus (also called a dysplastic nevus) is a benign growth that may share some of the clinical or microscopic features of melanoma, but is NOT a melanoma or any form of cancer. However, the presence of atypical nevi may increase the risk of developing a melanoma, or be a marker for someone who is at risk of developing malignant melanoma. This increased risk varies from very small for those with a single atypical nevus to higher for those with many. Those individuals who have ten or more dysplastic nevi have 12 times the risk of developing melanoma compared to the general population.


In the general Caucasian population, approximately 2 to 8% have atypical moles. Those patients with a family history of malignant melanoma and dysplastic nevi have an extremely high risk of developing melanoma. Those patients who have dysplastic nevi but no family history of melanoma have a 10 times higher risk of developing melanoma during the course of their lifetime compared to the general population.

Yearly skin cancer examinations are extremely important. Dr. Michele Green starts each consultation with a full-body skin exam. In addition, she counsels every patient on sun avoidance and the proper SPF protection. If there is a new or changing mole that you are concerned with and you see changes in the size, color, border, or shape of the mole, please inform Dr. Green to evaluate these changes.

Please contact us online today or call 212-535-3088 if you’re concerned about the appearance of a dark spot or spots on your skin.