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Banal or acquired naevi

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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These are very common lesions, usually small - 2-3 mm in diameter - and uniformly brown. The lesion is usually pale brown in the young patient and with age, darkens and becomes elevated. In the elderly, the pigment may be lost and the naevus develops into a fleshy pedunculated lesion with one or two protruding hairs. This occurs most commonly on the face.

Common acquired naevi are at least 3 times less common in the blacks and Asians than in the whites.

Studies show that constitutional factors such as hair, eye, and skin colour as well as environmental factors are associated with the number of naevi (1).

The dermoscopic classification of acquired melanocytic naevi is based on the assessment of 3 main criteria:

  • overall architecture (global pattern)
  • pigment distribution
  • colour

This classification is helpful in the management of patients with multiple naevi since, usually, a single naevus type is seen in most acquired melanocytic naevi in the same individual (2).


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