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Nevus, or nevi when referred to plurally, are groups of an overgrowth of cells. The congenital birthmark is usually benign, and commonly, nevi grow on the skin. However, there can be a nevus on the eye, connective tissue and other areas. The most common nevi are moles, a small pigmented version of a skin nevi, but there are also much larger nevi. Nevi can also be non-pigmented, causing a light patch or birthmark on the skin. Treatment or removal of nevi is available at the Vascular Birthmark Institute in New York.

Small moles are simple to remove if needed. However, with larger nevi, the patch can cover a large portion of skin. Whether it is non-pigmented or pigmented, nevi can cover half a face or another body part. One type is a congenital melanocytic nexus (dark brown or black), which is larger than the size of the person’s hand, or covers at least 2% of their body. These larger nevi are more difficult to treat or remove and need specialized care.

Treatment Options for Large Nevi

Most nevi are benign and do not pose a threat to the patient’s health. However, if the nevus is in a noticeable location, it can have aesthetic impacts and if large, can also have risk of skin cancer. Laser treatments can be used on pigmented nevi, but it is not always effective. In some cases, the color can be faded, but the pigmentation may return. Surgical removal is an option for nevi. However, for large nevi, it also requires skin grafting or tissue rearrangement to replace where the nevi are removed. Medication and topical creams are generally not effective in removing nevi, but medication can be used for symptoms such as pain or itching.

If you or your child has a pigmented or non-pigmented nevus, it is important to know all your options for treatment or removal. Contact our birthmark specialists at Vascular Birthmark Institute in New York to schedule your consultation and exam.