[3 min read] Dysplastic naevi genetic makeup

This month, I share a useful review article on the often vexed topic of dysplastic naevi. The article summarises new understandings about the genetic makeup of benign and dysplastic naevi, as well as melanoma.

The summary by Ardakani is well worth reading for everyone, and if you want to explore issues around dysplastic naevi more, read the whole article.

In short, what Ardakani shows is that there does seem to be a subset of dysplastic naevi that has a distinct genetic makeup that is different from other dysplastic naevi. However, it is not clear what the genetic changes mean in a biological or clinical way.

So, while our understanding of the detailed biology of naevi continues to grow, we (as GPs) can continue to manage dysplastic naevi as we do now.

That is, any suspicious pigmented skin lesion should be biopsied by excision biopsy (2mm margins). If the pathology report is of mild or moderate dysplasia, no further treatment is needed. If the report is of severe dysplasia, the lesion should be treated as melanoma in situ, and a re-excision with 5mm margins done.

Professor David Wilkinson


Read more from Professor David Wilkinson on recent research:


Learn more about skin cancer medicine in primary care at the next Skin Cancer Certificate Courses:

Skin Cancer Certificate Courses in Australia

2 comments on “[3 min read] Dysplastic naevi genetic makeup

  1. What does a dysplastic naevi look like ? My children are MTHFR C677t 2 of my grandchildren have these light brown coffee birthmarks is this any thing to be concerned about? I am MTHFR A1298c & Just been diagnosed with SCC & BCC on my face.I am vit b12 & D deficient My dermatologist give me Vit B3 to prevent skin cancers I have Spent 40yrs as a midwife exposed to unscavanged nitrous oxide.Is this a feature of genetic mutations ?

    1. Hi Marilyn, we recommend that you seek medical advice from a medical professional with experience in skin cancer so they can give an accurate diagnosis. Thank you, Abbie | HealthCert

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