Halo naevi are also known as Sutton naevi or leukoderma acquisitum centrifugum (1).
This describes depigmentation around the margin of the naevus or the surrounding skin in a halo distribution. In time, it may be difficult to differentiate naevus from depigmented skin. The condition often occurs around the time of puberty and may represent an immunological rejection mechanism. Occasionally, a melanoma exhibits this phenomenon. A patient with a sudden onset of multiple halo naevi should therefore undergo a complete skin examination, together with an eye examination, as the presenting sign in ocular melanoma could be halo naevi (2).
The incidence of halo naevi in the population is estimated to be around 1%. The mean age at onset is 15 years. They are found in both sexes and in all races. A familial tendency has been reported (1).
People affected tend to have multiple halo naevi, which are usually localized in the back. They may be clustered (1).
These lesions generally resolve spontaneously (although this may take several years). T- lymphocytes are suspected to play a key role in the progressive destruction of the naevus cells (1).
- (1). Kolm I, et al. Dermoscopy Patterns of Halo Nevi. Arch Dermatol. 2006;142:1627-1632
- (2). O'Connor KM, Chien AJ. Management of Melanocytic Lesions in the Primary Care Setting. Mayo Clin Proc 2008; 83: 208-214
Last reviewed 01/2018