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3 Things You Need To Know About Spitz Nevus Moles

Spitz nevus moles are an uncommon type of mole that look very similar to melanoma, a deadly type of skin cancer, so discovering one of them on your body can be very alarming. Spitz nevus moles are benign, however they look similar to melanoma, so if you develop one, make sure to get checked out immediately. Here are three things you need to know about Spitz nevus moles.

What do they look like?

Spitz nevus moles are fairly large moles; they can reach a diameter of 1 cm in as little as 6 months. Their fast growth and large size are both alarming, since a diameter of more than 6 mm and a changing appearance are both warning signs for melanoma.

They tend to be symmetrical with well-defined borders, and their surface can be either smooth or bumpy. They are a uniform color, unlike melanomas, which tend to contain multiple colors. Spitz nevus moles can be the same color as your skin, but they can also be shades of pink, red, or even blue-black. 

Are they cancerous?

Spitz nevus moles are benign, but since they look so similar to melanomas, most dermatologists will want to biopsy the mole, just to be safe. Your dermatologist may do a partial biopsy, where only a small portion of the mole is removed for analysis. Other dermatologists prefer to do a total biopsy, and remove the entire mole before examining it for cancer cells. If no cancer is found, you will be diagnosed with a Spitz nevus mole. 

How are they removed?

Complete mole removal may not be necessary. Spitz nevus moles are benign, so if the mole isn't bothering you, your dermatologist may recommend leaving it alone. If the mole is bothering you, your dermatologist can remove it through a surgery called excision. 

Excision is a fairly simple procedure. It will be performed either by a dermatologist or by a plastic surgeon, depending on the location of the mole. First, the doctor will numb the area with local anesthesia. You'll still be awake during the procedure, but you won't feel anything. Next, the mole will be cut out with a scalpel. Once the entire mole has been removed, your skin will be sewn shut, and you'll be sent home. 

If the Spitz nevus diagnosis was correct, the mole won't grow back. If the mole reappears, you need to see your doctor right away as it could be melanoma.