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© 2015 Nevus Support Australia PO Box 262, Seacliff Park, South Australia 5049  
ABN: 23543860400
This information on this website is for general information purposes only. It is not intended as a medical reference. Please talk with your doctor for medical advice.
WHAT IS A CONGENITAL MELANOCYTIC NEVUS
A   Congenital   Melanocytic   Naevus   CMN   (spelt   Nevus   or   Naevus)   is   a   skin   growth   present   at birth.   It   is   a   rare   disorder   that   affects   around   1   in   20,000   newborns   in   some   form   and   as   few as 1 in 500,000 in its most severe form. It   is   composed   of   special   pigment   producing   cells   called   melanocytes,   which   are   the   pigment producing cells normally found in skin but which behave differently in CMN. They   can   exist   on   any   part   of   the   body,   and   grow   in   proportion   to   body   growth.   There   are several   definitions   used   to   refer   to   the   size   of   a   congenital   nevus,   from   small,   medium,   large or giant. A   giant   nevus   is   one   which   covers   a   large   portion   of   an   anatomical   site,   for   example   scalp, face, arm, leg or back. Another   definition   is   if   it   covers   more   than   2%   of   a   patients   total   body   area   or   will   measure over about twenty centimetres when the patient is fully grown. Many   large   or   giant   nevi   are   far   more   extensive   than   this.   Many   patients   also   have   multiple other   nevi   called   satellite   nevi   on   other   parts   of   their   body,   and   some   will   continue   to   develop these over their lifespan. Most   Nevi   are   brown   or   black   in   colour,   and   have   an   increased   tendency   for   hair   growth.   The skin   texture   can   be   smooth   or   leathery   and   because   oil   and   sweat   glands   do   not   form properly within the nevus, overheating can be a problem. The   skin   is   often   dry   and   fragile.   Many   nevi   have   tumours   just   below   the   skin   that   give   the nevus a lumpy or folded appearance.