Facts About Dysplastic Nevus Syndrome You Should Know
Last updated: July 2021
If you're not familiar with dysplastic nevus syndrome, you're not alone. It's also known as atypical mole syndrome (AMS) and was first brought to the attention of a doctor in the early 1820s. Here are some facts about this condition and what you should know.
What is dysplastic nevus syndrome?
Known as atypical nevi or dysplastic nevi, they're essentially atypical moles. They have an unusual shape, are typically larger, and have a pebble-like surface. Many have a tan color, but the shades vary. It is these clinical features that serve as a basis for diagnosis.
This is actually a controversial subject
If this all sounds confusing, it can be. In fact, there is much debate in the fields of dermatopathology and dermatology on this very subject. But a simple way of describing DNS is to say that it's a mole that is different from the norm.
How dysplastic nevus syndrome is diagnosed
For a clinical diagnosis, the atyipcal mole must include these features:
- Lesional color variation
- Irregular margins
- A diameter larger than 5 mm
- Ill-defined borders
What factors may cause dysplastic nevus syndrome?
While the origins of DNS are not entirely known, there are some known factors that may contribute to the development of DNS. Physical characteristics like fair skin, light hair color, sun sensitivity, and light-colored eyes are a few of these factors.
How is dysplastic nevus syndrome different from moles?
A diagnosis of dysplastic nevus requires that a person have at least 50 or more of the atypical moles on their body called dysplastic nevi. To make it more confusing, if a patient has five or more atypical melanocytic nevi, they are considered to have dysplastic nevus syndrome. The takeaway is that you may have a lot of moles, but in order for them to be considered dysplastic nevi, they must be atypical.
Is dysplastic nevus syndrome dangerous
Like with all suspicious skin spots, it is crucial to have regular skin checks with your dermatologist to determine whether your moles are benign or atypical. The good news is that with treatment, the prognosis for dysplastic nevus syndrome is good.
Keep an eye on suspicious spots
Keep in mind that those who have a history of atypical moles have a higher risk of developing skin cancer including melanoma. With regular checkups, these should be able to be taken care of easily. Some moles require surgical removal while others require nothing more than observation. The important thing is to be vigilant and to report any suspicious spots to your doctor.
Do you sunscreen in the fall?