What are my options?
One of the most frequently asked questions is “What can be done about it?” This is a tricky one to answer, because it depends on a lot of things. Unfortunately, there is not a pill you can take or a cream you can rub on that will make a large congenital nevus go away.
In a nutshell – there are no magic answers. Even though doctors remove small moles with good results every day, a large nevus involves much more.
When removal of the nevus is possible, the success of the procedure depends on a number of factors:
- How is "successful" defined?
- How large is the nevus?
- Where is the nevus located?
- How skilled is the surgeon?
Removing a congenital pigmented nevus requires cutting out the nevus with a knife, and stitching the removal site closed with a needle and thread and cannot be done without leaving a scar.
What about LASER Treatment?
We all want to think modern medicine has miracles to offer us. Although use of lasers are successful for many superficial skin conditions, lasers generally cannot be relied upon to remove a pigmented nevus.
Lasers can destroy the nevus cells near the surface of the skin. However, for a laser to destroy the deeper nevus cells there is a risk of scarring the skin. Some people report successful results with laser treatment. Some report initial success only to have the nevus regrow. Some report success because the nevus is lighter, but it is still visible. Others report poor results. There does not seem to be consistency in reports or treatment methods, which means there is no perfect solution.
Laser technology and precision continues to advance. There is certainly a valuable role for lasers to be used in removing hair from nevi or improving scars following nevus excision. Most experienced laser professionals will have some experience with pigmented lesions (acquired moles, freckles and age spots), but few have experience with large and giant nevi because they are so rare.
If you are interested in pursuing laser treatment, you should seek a consultation with a board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon who specializes in laser treatments. You should ask how much experience they have had treating congenital nevi and what kind of results they have had.
Quality of Life Treatments
Many people with large nevi have problems with itching and other discomfort. We don't have specific recommendations for products, however, we do know people in the nevus community have had varying success with different lotions, creams and other items. These items can alleviate some discomfort, but it is important to note that there are no creams, lotions or other products that can remove a nevus!
We recommend that you connect with other people with nevi and ask what they like to use for itching and other discomfort. Join the Nevus Outreach Support Group today! Also, be sure you check with your doctor before trying any new product for your nevus.
Just a word of caution here. Remember that nevus skin can be thin and tear easily, so care should be taken with any attempt to remove hair from your nevus. Harsh chemicals are not recommended. Talk to an experienced doctor about methods of removing hair from your nevus.
Looking for a doctor?
Nevus Outreach, Inc. does not endorse any doctors or medical professionals. We know many new nevus parents, though, are looking for a doctor who has experience working with large nevi. We have compiled a list of doctors who are used by our members. We make no claims or recommendations of these doctors.