embryology

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Melanoctes are derived from melanoblasts within the neural crest. These progenitor cells migrate to the basal epidermal layer before differentiating. Failure of migration, differentiation and growth in utero is thought to cause congenital naevi.

Melanocytic naevi - nests of rounded melanocytes - are present at birth but become pigmented in the first few months after birth.

Last reviewed 01/2018