(HealthDay News) — Melanoma may be dermoscopically indistinguishable from Spitz nevi, according to a study published in the January issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Aimilios Lallas, PhD, from the Instituto di Ricerca e Cura a Carattere Scientifico in Reggio Emilia, Italy, and colleagues analyzed demographic, clinical, and dermoscopic variables in patients (≥12 years old) with symmetric, Spitzoid-looking lesions that were diagnosed histopathologically as Spitz nevus or melanoma.

The researchers found that of 384 included lesions, 86.7% were histopathologically diagnosed as Spitz nevus and 13.3% as melanoma. With increasing age, the risk of melanoma significantly increased, reaching ≥50% after the age of 50 years.

“Our results confirm the observation that melanoma may be dermoscopically indistinguishable from Spitz nevi, strongly suggesting that the only safe strategy not to miss melanoma is to excise all Spitzoid-looking lesions in patients aged ≥12 years,” the authors write.

Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)