Melanocytic nevus is the medical and Latin name for a mole; they are sometimes known as a nevocytic nevus and doctors may refer to them in this way when writing in medical notes or discussing treatment options with a patient.
Melanocytic nevus is a term which is used to refer to a range of skin lesions and marks which are more commonly known as moles. Moles come in all sorts of different shapes and sizes and each different one has a separate Latin name. For general everyday use, it is not important to memorize all the different types of moles and what their names are. It is worth noting though that moles are classified differently so as to be more aware of what a dermatologist or doctor is talking about.
Melanocytic nevi can also be congenital or acquired. Congenital simply means that these sorts of moles are present at birth, and also implies that there may be a genetic link which means they run in families. Acquired moles are ones which develop after birth, usually through adolescence and early adulthood. The average person with white skin has up to 30 moles on their body. The two most common moles are flat moles which are round, small, flat and generally brown in color and raised moles, which are lighter in color but protrude further from the surface of the skin.
Dyplastic nevi, or nevus in the singular, is the name given to moles which fall into the “abnormal” category. If your doctor or dermatologist refers to your moles in this way you should not be alarmed as it does not mean that your moles have developed into a malignant melanoma or skin cancer. People with a large number of atyptical or abnormal moles are at a higher risk of developing skin cancer at some point in the future though, so if a large number of atypical moles or dyplastic nevi are found, it may be that the doctor decides to closely monitor the patient for any further changes in the skin. It is possible to remove moles surgically, but if there is no indication that the patient has cancer or malignancy in the cells, the doctors will be unlikely to perform the procedure.
Most moles are pain free and harmless and will not require to be attended to by a doctor or skin specialist. If the skin cells are healthy then there is no medical reason to remove them. Many people however wish to remove their moles for cosmetic reasons, especially if they are on the face. Although this is usually done by surgery, there are other methods such as laser treatment and natural remedies which may also be appropriate. A dermatologist or doctor will be able to advise on the most appropriate method given the number of moles and the location on the body.
Most people are aware of the link between having many moles and developing skin cancer, but it is certainly not true that everyone with multiple moles will go on to develop cancer. The best strategy for minimizing the risk of skin cancer is to become familiar with the moles and marks on your body so you are well placed to be able to notice any changes and report these to a doctor. Skin cancer has an excellent cure rate as long as it is detected early. Using a good quality sunscreen and staying in the shade as much as possible is also sensible advice.