Congenital melanocytic nevus (1694)

Key points below

What is a congenital melanocytic nevus?

Congenital means you are born with it. A melanocytic nevus is lesion or mark. It is not clear what causes the nevus to appear. The nevus:


About 1% of babies are born with small congenital nevi. Giant congenital nevi, which are larger than 8 inches, are much less common. Opinions differ about the risk of these birthmarks turning into skin cancer, called melanoma, later in life. Babies with the giant nevi have a little more risk of developing melanoma.

How is it diagnosed?

The nevi are diagnosed by the way they look. It is also important to know if they were present at birth.

How is it treated?

Surgery is recommended if:


Call your child’s doctor, nurse, or clinic if you have any questions or concerns or if your child has:

  • Any changes in their nevi.
  • Special health care needs that were not covered by this information.