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Pathology of Benign Melanocytic Nevi

Overview

The term benign melanocytic nevus refers to a heterogeneous group of nonmalignant melanocytic nevi manifesting either as pigmented or nonpigmented cutaneous lesions.

The prototypical benign melanocytic nevus is the common acquired nevus, which typically appears within the first 3 decades of life. Characteristically, these are smaller than 6 mm with even pigmentation and smooth borders, commonly found on sun-exposed sites. Common acquired nevi are composed of nevomelanocytic nests and are sometimes classified according the histologic location of the nests (eg, junctional, compound, or intradermal).

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