Clark's Nevus is an uncommon form of skin disease that is found in people from all age groups.
Defining Clark's Nevus
While the disease is neither contagious nor dangerous, medical experts believe that Clark's Nevus do present a higher risk of turning into melanoma when compared to more common moles. Those who have a number of Clark's Nevus should pursue a complete skin examination every year.
Clark's Nevus, which is also referred to as, 'dysplastic nevi,' are moles that are considered to be pre-cancerous, or present a greater potential to turn into melanoma. When a person examines an atypical mole on their skin they will see some of the features that they would see when looking at melanoma. For example, a slight color variation, an irregular border, or an asymmetrical presentation - meaning that the both sides do not appear to look the same. 'Nevi,' or moles, can stick out like a bump on a person's chin, or appear like a, 'beauty mark.'
Many times Clark's Nevus is a disease common to young people, although it can occur in people of any age. Clark's Nevus was formerly referred to as, 'Dysplastic Nevus,' and is the most difficult to diagnose and controversial of the forms of melanocytic lesions. The disease is considered to be a precursor of malignant melanoma. Both histological and microscopic criteria have been collected with the aim of improving knowledge concerning the clinical features of Clark's Nevus.
Causes of Clark's Nevus
The medical community currently does not know the causes of Clark's Nevus. What is known is that the disease commonly occurs on skin that has been exposed to the sun. There is also a tendency for Clark's Nevus to both develop and run in families. Clark's Nevus is something that is often times hereditary.
Symptoms of Clark's Nevus
The symptoms of Clark's Nevus usually start to appear while a person is in adolescence. The Nevi appear most often on the person's chest, back, buttocks, abdomen and scalp. Clark's Nevus are larger than more common forms of nevi; they average about one centime in size. The nevi also vary in color shades of brown and tan. Sometimes, Clark's Nevus present with an elevated and darker portion in the center with a flat and pale, fuzzy appearing border that gives the appearance of a, 'fried egg.' When a Clark's Nevus is removed and examined under a microscope, it can have some typical characteristics. The pigmentation cells show varying degrees of atypicality, and are commonly seen throughout the person's skin.
Treatment of Clark's Nevus
There are some different types of treatment for Clark's Nevus that are available. People with this form of nevi should be routinely evaluated by a dermatologist once or twice each year, and use sunscreen on exposed areas of their skin. The one safe way to remove any atypical mole is to have it cut out. People who are at a higher risk for melanoma need to minimize their exposure to additional factors that are associated with melanoma, and wear broad-brimmed hats when they are out of doors.
If a person chooses to have an atypical mole cut out, the specimen should be sent to a pathologist to be analyzed under a microscope. Removal of an atypical mole leaves the person with a permanent scar. Should an atypical mole appear to be an early melanoma, a doctor may recommend removing it as soon as possible.
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