What is a spitz nevus?

Spitz nevus (Epithelioid and Spindle-Cell Nevus) is an uncommon, benign, melanocytic nevus that is usually acquired and has histologic features that overlap with those of melanoma. Spitz nevi were previously diagnosed as melanomas due to their similar appearance under a microscope, until it was found that they did not show malignant behavior.

Can melanoma be mistaken for Spitz nevi?

Spitz nevi and melanomas can be mistaken for one another. Because of this, Spitz nevi are sometimes treated more aggressively as a precautionary measure. Spitz nevi are not very common. Some estimates suggest they affect around 7 out of every 100,000 people.

What is Spitz’s juvenile melanoma?

It is also known as an epithelioid and spindle-cell nevus,, and misleadingly as a benign juvenile melanoma, and Spitz’s juvenile melanoma ). The name juvenile melanoma is generally no longer used as it is neither a melanoma, nor does it occur only in children.

How long does it take for Spitz nevus to go away?

Classic Spitz nevi usually grow for a few months and then gradually fade away over the course of a few years. They may only require medical monitoring. Spitz nevi in adults and types that may be linked to melanoma, such as pigmented and atypical Spitz tumors, are usually surgically removed from the skin.

What is the difference between classic and atypical Spitz nevi?

Classic Spitz nevi are noncancerous and usually harmless. Atypical Spitz nevi are a little less predictable. They may act like cancerous lesions and are sometimes treated like melanomas. Most of the time, doctors can’t tell the difference between a Spitz nevus and a melanoma lesion by simply looking at it. Following are some differences:

What is the size of a Spitz papule?

Prototypic or conventional Spitz nevi are solitary, well circumscribed, symmetrical, pink or pigmented, dome shaped papules several millimeters in size, typically < 6 mm Well circumscribed, dome shaped pink or pigmented papule, size is several millimeters (usually < 1 cm)