Melanocytic Nevi – Spitz Nevus

September 4th, 2011

Spitz Nevi are benign melanocytic nevi that I occasionally encounter in both my The Woodlands dermatology and Conroe dermatology offices.  Spitz Nevi are most often found in children but adults account for 1/3 of all cases.  Typically, a Spitz Nevus is a solitary pink papule but some can be heavily pigmented with a very black appearance.  Occasionally, Spitz Nevi arise in clusters of multiple lesions called Agminated Spitz Nevi.  The significance of a Spitz Nevus is that the histology is very similar to a melanoma but has a few unique microscopic features that distinguish them.  Thus, most dermatologists elect to have most Spitz Nevi completely excised with clear surgical margins.  Also, there is a rare type of Spitz Nevus that is a Spitzoid Melanoma which must be widely excised and treated according to its specific staging guidelines.