Symptoms Of Nevus Spilus: Causes, Diagnosis And Treatment

A nevus is benign pigmented skin lesion that may develop in any part of the body. This skin condition is commonly observed in many people. The pigmentation covers large area of the body. In most cases nevus spilus appears on back and chest. The pigmented patches do not produce any symptoms. But due to dark pigmentation it may produce cosmetic concern in many people.

Nevus spilus is congenital in origin, but sometime the lesions may develop later in life during adulthood. It is often associated with medical disorders such as PHACES syndrome or Epstein syndrome.

The cause of this condition is not known but it develops spontaneously. Usually no treatment is needed but some people may opt for laser and other measures due to cosmetic reasons.

What Are The Causes Of Nevus Spilus?

Nevus spilus is also called by other names such as speckled lentiginous nevus. The condition is considered to be congenital which may present at birth or may develop later in life at any age. Children and young adults are known to develop this lesion. The exact cause of nevus spilus is not known but some researcher’s suspect it is caused due to genetic mutation.

Certain medical conditions have been found to be associated with nevus spilus. One such condition is PHACES syndrome. The syndrome is characterized by abnormalities of eyes, face, loss of appetite, arterial abnormalities etc. People suffering from Epstein syndrome may also develop nevus spilus. Phacomatosis pigmentokeratotica may also present with nevus spilus besides one sided weakness, excessive sweating, abnormal sensation etc.

Signs And Symptoms Of Nevus Spilus

Nevus spilus does not present with major signs and symptoms. Often the condition is asymptomatic. The usual features of lesions are:

  • Lesions develop as pigmented patches on large area of skin.
  • Sometimes the patches are faint and they may not be apparent easily to the naked eye. Within the skin patches there may be tiny dark spots.
  • The average size of nevus is 1 to 15 cm. However it can be larger than 15 cm in some cases.
  • The lesions of nevus spilus develop anywhere in the body but most often they appear on large skin surface such as back and front of chest.

Diagnosis And Treatment Of Nevus Spilus

Nevus spilus is diagnosed usually by dermatologist a person who is specialized in dermatological practice. Following steps will help in diagnosing the condition.

  • Medical history and clinical examination.
  • Observation of the lesion using special magnified lens.
  • Woods lamp examination is a procedure performed under ultraviolet light. It helps to know if there is change in skin pigments.
  • The dermatologist will take photographs of the pigmented area and monitor it periodically if there is any change in the area over a period of time.
  • The condition can be diagnosed with skin biopsy. A small portion of skin is incised from the affected area and sent for analysis and evaluation in a pathological laboratory. The pathologist after observing skin changes under microscope will be able to opine whether it is nevus spilus.

Nevus spilus does not require any treatment as the condition is benign. Besides it does not produce symptoms that may be discomforting. However, people may take treatment for cosmetic reasons. Some people may feel the large skin lesion to be unsightly in appearance.

In such cases the affected skin area is surgically removed. Nevus spilus can also be removed with elctrocautery. Although Yag Laser has been used to treat the hyperpimented patch as well as the spots on it, the results are not promising.

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