The nevi (olives) are melanocyte clusters (i.e.. of cells that contain melanin) on the skin. They appear either in the form related nevi, which are visible at birth or during the first year of life, either acquired nevi which appear later, in childhood or young adulthood.

THE heredity determines their number and morphology, for example, flat or vaulted nevi are found, in skin color or shades of brown. However, their appearance is also affected by epigenetics exogenous factors, such as sun exposure.

The related nevi, are distinguished into small, i.e. those with a diameter smaller than 1,5 cm, medium (from 1,5 to 10 cm), adults (from 10 cm to 20 cm) and giants (with a diameter greater than 20 cm). Their size increases proportionally as the child grows and the surface of the skin they cover expands.. During the developmental stages of the child, the nevi may become darker or, while they start flat and do not protrude from the surface of the rest of the skin, later they acquire a warty surface, like a "cauliflower".

THE possibility of exchange of related nevi in malignant melanoma is bigger concerning big and giant congenital nevi, while it is much smaller for others. It is worth noting, however, that melanoma is very rare in childhood. If however it arises, has a bad prognosis.

THE surgical removal of large and giant nevi as soon as possible, greatly reduces the risk occurrence of melanoma, but it does not nullify it as there is always the possibility of melanoma appearing elsewhere. Also the aesthetic result is always interesting when we think of proceeding with the removal of a congenital nevus.

Acquired nevi are usually less than 1cm in diameter and remain unchanged in color and shape until adolescence.. Many of them follow a specific course of development. They start as flat light brown / black spots which slowly increase in diameter. When this horizontal growth phase is completed and stabilized in size, the nevi extend deep (acquire root) so, are transformed into vaulted. This is the vertical phase of their development. It is essentially a benign development of their clinical picture, which does not bother us medically.

THE main test method and nevus control to the children is the clinical examination with its help dermatoscopy. In cases deemed necessary, follows the mapping. Dermatoscopy is a useful diagnostic method, which with the use of specialized equipment, magnifies the microscopic details of the melanin network of the nevus and allows the dermatologist to distinguish the informal and potentially dangerous, from benign nevi. In case there is only one or a small number of potentially dangerous (dysplastic) moles we can proceed to surgical removal and histological examination-biopsy then or schedule regular re-examinations in order to detect any changes in time. But when the dysplastic nevi are numerous, surgical removal of all is an extremely difficult affair, so we recommend mapping.

The mapping of nevi constitutes specialized examination method in which, with the help of special equipment and standard software on a computer, the exact position on the body and the dermatoscopic image of each nevus are captured.. With re-checks at regular intervals, any changes in nevi that we have identified as potentially dangerous are identified.

It is considered a "suspicious" nevus:

  • the very dark color, especially if it is located on the palms and soles (in positions with constant friction)
  • the nevus with significant unevenness in its shape. For example, to have protrusions in its shape like false legs, be vaulted or even swollen in a single point
  • the nevus with blue, gray, red or white areas.

The size, the absence or presence of hair is less indicative of malignancy or atypia. In each case appearanceas such a mole or change of the appearance of a pre-existing and the appearance of these features will you should consult a specialist.

Parents, as the main concern should be to control the child's exposure to ultraviolet sunlight. It is an important risk factor for melanoma and acts cumulatively since childhood. Effective protection of children from the sun should begin, from the first day of their life! It is worth noting that sunburn in childhood is the most important exogenous predisposing agent for melanoma in adulthood.

The protection should be even greater in children with light skin type (phototype 1 and 2), in children with numerous nevi (more than 50), in those who show on their skin a giant congenital nevus, in children with dysplastic nevus syndrome or when there is a family history of skin cancer or melanoma.

So protection from the sun, pay attention to the appearance or change of appearance in the "elixirs" that appear on the skin of our children and minimize the possibility of melanoma in their adult life!