Accurate diagnosis of congenital and acquired pigmented lesions accompanied by an understanding of their natural history and disease associations is critical for the appropriate management and counseling of adolescents, as well as timely referral to specialists when indicated. The recognition of atypical nevi and other melanoma risk factors in adolescents should lead to institution of preventive measures, such as routine skin examinations and counseling regarding sun protection. Because the incidence of melanoma is increasing in adolescents as well as adults, prompt identification of suspicious melanocytic lesions may lead to early diagnosis and effective treatment of melanoma. Numerous pigmented lesions can also herald the presence of a multisystem disorder; the recognition of syndromes associated with these lesions should result in appropriate evaluation and genetic counseling of affected individuals. This review distinguishes pigmented lesions that histologically represent a proliferation of melanocytes and that may therefore confer an increased risk for melanoma, from pigmented lesions due to increased melanization alone (i.e., increased melanin content) that are not associated with malignancy.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Pages (from-to)||v, 195-212|
|Journal||Adolescent medicine (Philadelphia, Pa.)|
|State||Published - Jun 2001|
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