CONGENITAL MELANOCYTIC NEVUS
In December 2011, Christmas came a day early. My beautiful son, Tyson, was born. Not only was this little guy handsome, he had been touched by an angel leaving a special mark. Totally speechless by looking at the size of this unusual mark, it was located on his right leg. Starting from the knee down to the bottom of his foot shows a picture perfect visual of a little black boot. Doctors were fascinated with him and nurses were fussy among themselves taking turns cradling him. My motherly instincts have kicked in and now I have questions and concerns. Is it a bruise or birthmark? Is it normal? Will it turn cancerous? To calm my nerves, the dermatologist entered the room and enlightened me on the medical term of this mark called Congenital Melanocytic Nevus. Let’s break it down. A nevus is any congenital growth or pigmented blemish on the skin; birthmark or mole. It can be described as large if it takes more than one surgical incision to remove or if it covers more than 2% of the total body surface area. The term giant is sometimes used when describing nevi. A giant nevus covers a very large part of the body, usually involves the torso, and is usually accompanied by a number of satellite nevi. Satellite nevi (or just satellites) are smaller melanocytic nevi (smaller birthmarks). When a child is born with a giant nevus, it is common for satellite nevi to be present at birth. It is also common for satellite nevi to appear after birth. Sometimes during diagnosis, doctors may use a large number of satellites to support their diagnosis of a large or giant congenital melanocytic nevus. Sometimes you will also find a nevus can look like a large mole or a large birthmark. Congenital simply means that it is present at birth. Sometimes people get confused about the hereditary. Hereditary means you get it from your parents and/or pass it along to your kids. These marks are thought to be caused by problems that develop as the...
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