Dysplastic moles have a higher risk of developing into melanoma, but not all dysplastic moles will become melanoma.
A thorough response to a query
Dysplastic moles, also known as atypical or Clark nevi, are moles that look different from common moles. They can be larger, have irregular borders, and have different colors. Studies have shown that dysplastic moles have a higher risk of developing into melanoma, a deadly type of skin cancer. However, not all dysplastic moles will become melanoma.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, it is estimated that between 2-8% of the population has at least one dysplastic mole. These moles are often hereditary and can be found in families with a history of skin cancer. It is important to regularly check moles and have any changes in shape, size, or color checked by a dermatologist.
In the words of dermatologist Dr. Melissa Piliang, “Dysplastic nevi are not cancer, but they are considered a risk marker for melanoma.” This means that while not all dysplastic moles will become melanoma, having them does increase a person’s risk for developing the deadly skin cancer.
To help assess a person’s risk for melanoma, dermatologists use the ABCDE rule:
A – Asymmetry: One half of the mole does not match the other half.
B – Border irregularity: The edges of the mole are not smooth, but instead are uneven or notched.
C – Color: The mole has different colors or shades.
D – Diameter: The mole is larger than the size of a pencil eraser.
E – Evolving: The mole is changing in size, shape, or color.
If a mole exhibits any of these characteristics, it should be checked by a dermatologist.
In conclusion, dysplastic moles have a higher risk of developing into melanoma, but regular monitoring and early detection through self-checks and dermatologist visits can help reduce the risk. As dermatologist Dr. Elizabeth Tanzi states, “Early detection and treatment can save lives.”
|A – Asymmetry||One half of the mole does not match the other half.|
|B – Border Irregularity||The edges of the mole are not smooth, but instead are uneven or notched.|
|C – Color||The mole has different colors or shades.|
|D – Diameter||The mole is larger than the size of a pencil eraser.|
|E – Evolving||The mole is changing in size, shape, or color.|
Video related “Do dysplastic moles turn into melanoma?”
In the video “What are Dysplastic Moles and Do They Turn into Melanoma?”, Melissa Wilson, a physician assistant, explains that dysplastic nevi are abnormal moles that can be genetic or caused by excessive sun exposure and that patients with these moles may require re-excisions if they are severely dysplastic or have a positive margin. While the presence of dysplastic nevi can increase the risk of developing melanoma over time, the severity of dysplasia and the management of the mole determine the risk. Wilson emphasizes the importance of follow-up for patients with this condition and recommends mole mapping or total body photography as useful tools for tracking changes in moles. Patients with any questions can contact melanoma experts via the Ask an Expert line on the AIM at Melanoma website.
There are other points of view available on the Internet
Only rarely does a dysplastic nevus turn into melanoma (1, 3). However, dysplastic nevi are a risk factor for developing melanoma, and the more dysplastic nevi a person has, the greater their risk of developing melanoma (1, 3).
People who have 10 or more atypical moles are 12 times more likely to develop melanoma. Still, most people with atypical moles don’t develop melanoma. Experts estimate that 1 in 4 cases of melanoma arises from a dysplastic nevus or atypical mole. What are other words for dysplastic nevus?
No. Normally, people do not need to have a dysplastic nevus or a common mole removed. One reason is that very few dysplastic nevi or common moles turn into melanoma ( 1, 3 ). And most melanomas do not start as common moles or dysplastic nevi ( 2 ).
Dysplastic nevus is a mole that looks different from most moles. The mole may have irregular borders, be a mix of colors and appear larger than other moles. Atypical moles are benign (not cancerous). However, having a lot of atypical moles increases your risk of melanoma, a life-threatening skin cancer.
Only rarely does a dysplastic nevus turn into melanoma ( 1, 3 ). However, dysplastic nevi are a risk factor for developing melanoma, and the more dysplastic nevi a person has, the greater their risk of developing melanoma ( 1, 3 ).
Yes — but most dysplastic nevi do not turn into melanoma. Most types of atypical moles remain stable over time. Patients with five or more dysplastic nevi are 10 times more likely to develop melanoma than individuals with no atypical moles. The greater the number of dysplastic nevi on the body, the more likely the development of melanoma.