What about those "changing to black" atypical moles?

Posted By
5/28/2014 3:55pm
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Replies: 2

Hi there, 

Fistly, I do not have melanoma. Several years ago, I did have a large BCC in a birthmark on my lower back, with very little sun exposure to that area.  Lots of AK's frozen in my face surely due to sun damage (farmer tan).  I spent a major part of my 61 years outdoors, some in the tropics and also at high altitude.  Mostly, but not completely covered skin...  

Sometime between my 6 months skin checkups this "keep an eye on this one" old atypical mole on my middle back changed color to black and was biopsied.  The nurse called me and said it was a mildly dysplastic nevus with clear margins.  So no further surgery was needed and I received a 3 months appt for next skin check.  When I left the derm's office it was more like - pending biopsy report, we'll see you in a year and I was proud of the upgrade! I could even cheat this summer and go out between 10 and 4.  After all next checkup was a year away...

So, are sites of already removed dysplastic nevi still a concern?  Pretty sure this was the only one I had.  Could be the derm being very causious since I did not notice the color change.  

Still got to find a perfect mirror combination to make inspection possible without contorting myself...

Trying to take a picture of my back with my phone for this dyslexic person may prove futile for a while longer. At least it's comical!





So hopefully I got your question asking if sites of dysplastic moles still a concern?  The answer is yes and no.  Realistically, it's unlikely that even if a mildly atypical nevi grew back, it would become melanoma.  However, any biopsy site that has pigment regrowth should be reported to your derm.  The biopsy really should remove the entire lesion and, if it doesn't, it should be re-excised.  However, for a mildly atypical lesion, that school of thought is not universal.  Some derms don't mind at all if a mildly atypical mole grows back.  

So in general, having had a mildly atypical (even black) nevi is not overly concerning and having it removed with clear margins as you did is what you really want.  But again, watching for any pigment regrowth in the area is only prudent.... as well as watching for any other changing moles!

I won't lecture you on the 10-4 sun exposure as you'd be asking the wrong crowd on a melanoma site.  We have nothing good to say about that.

Just be prudent and anything that changes should be seen by a derm - regardless of how far away your next appointment is!


Thanks Janner.  I'll definitely put more effort into checking for any changes between derm visits.  Keeping covered up is easy.  It's the staying indoors...