Atypical Moles and History of Tanning - Melanoma Panic?

I am a 29 year old female with a caucasian mother and bi-racial father, no known history of melanoma in the family (unsure of dysplastic nevi) but a history of indoor tanning. I have brown hair and eyes and tan easily but I have freckles and about 100 moles. I had about 12 biopsies so far because my moles are tiny but very dark. Out of those biopsies 2 came back moderately dysplastic (mild arch.). Are dysplastic nevi very common? I am freaking out about my risk.

Doctor Answers 3

Mole removal for atypia in Los Angeles

Atypia is not uncommon, but dysplasia can be a risk factor for cancer progression.  I would avoid sun tanning any further and maintain close vigilance of future moles. Raffy Karamanoukian Los Angeles

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Worry about multiple moles

Atypical nevi are not uncommon and are not the same as melanoma.  Several risk factors exist that increase your risk of getting skin cancer, including fair skin type and family history. Having multiple moles also increases the risk.  These are risk factors but do not mean that you will get skin cancer.  If you were to develop skin cancer, most of these are treatable if caught early...

You can reduce your risk of having problems by learning to do skin self exams and watch for changing or new moles.   I would also recommend having regular checkups by a dermatologist and inquiring about having the dermatologist use photography to document your moles and help pick up new or changing moles at your visit.

Daniel Berg, MD
Seattle Dermatologic Surgeon
3.7 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Do dysplastic nevi pose a risk of melanoma.

The single most important factor in melanoma risk is a strong family history.  Red hair, blue eyes and a great deal of prior sun are additional risks.  Patients with dysplastic nevi are probably at somewhat greater risk than the general population, however a direct correlation is not clearly established because the definition and determination of "dysplastic" is not black and white.  I would suggest annual skin checks with your dermatologist, and consider "mole mapping"( computerized photography ) or use of Melafind at their recommendation if it will ease your concerns.

Stephen Mandy, MD
Miami Dermatologic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.