DYSPLASTIC NEVI nevi are considered melanoma risk markers. They do rarely malignify themselves, however, they occur on the skins of individuals at higher risk for melanoma. So, identifying a DYSPLASTIC NEVUS means identifying an individual at risk for melanoma. DYSPLASTIC NEVI are acquired nevi, mostly developing between the age of 12 and 30 yrs, with predominant site distribution on the trunc skin surface, following the so-called skin relaxation tension lines (SRTL). Although decisive criteria to discern "DYSPLASTIC" from "COMMON" acquired nevi are lacking, the following features hint to a nevus being "dysplastic":

(1) Dome-shaped configuration of a flat, slightly elevated pigmented lesion of light-brown or even red-brown color. Noteworthy is the fact that blood flow circulatory factors may impact on the visible phenotypic presentation of DYSPLASTIC NEVI, which gives the "reddish" appearance.

(2) Irregularly configured border contour (= non-geometric).

(3) Multiplicity of similar-looking lesions: Presence of several to multiple isomorphous lesions on the skin and on the skin among family relatives.


Genetic inheritance is an important indicator of melanoma risk in these individuals. Often, melanoma is found in family history. If individuals with DYSPLASTIC NEVI are exposed to inappropriate UV irradiation, their genetic control capacity is disbalanced and destabilized, so that malignant transformation of MELANOCYTES may get initiated. Many individuals with DYSPLASTIC NEVI have more than one melanoma through lifetime, and several "in-situ" (curable) melanomas are frequently found, if surveillance programs are underway. The total number of DYSPLASTIC NEVI is another risk factor (ratio of "DYSPLASTIC":"NON-DYSPLASTIC"). Individuals with DYSPLASTIC NEVI need a professional close-watch surveillance program, backed by regular skin self-examining procedures.