Synonyms: Dysplastic nevus
An atypical mole differs from other moles by its size, colour and shape.
An atypical mole is larger than 6mm in diameter, it has multiple colours (at least 2 colours), it’s irregular in shape (asymmetrical) and the borders are discontinued, jagged or unclear. These are the features that can be seen by the naked eye.
Histopathological characteristics, that a doctor-pathologist can see in atypical moles are completely different and bring this mole very close to melanoma, such a mole is known as a Dysplastic mole (Dysplastic nevus is its histopathological diagnosis).
Dysplastic nevus – Mole that grows, changes shape and colour
Due to these characteristics, many consider it a “precancer”, essentially a state that directly leads to melanoma. However, the fact stands that atypical moles present only a greater possibility for developing melanoma, but not each of them will become one. Out of all melanomas, half are developed in existing atypical moles, and the other half of all melanomas are developed in completely healthy skin.