The term nevus, used in its broadest sense, refers to any abnormality or irregularity attributed to heredity or embryonic development related to conception, gestation, or postnatal development. Within the discipline of dermatology, the term refers to a large number of congenital and acquired hamartomas of different tissue types, although it is used most often in the context of benign melanocytic neoplasms composed of pigment cells. Discussion will focus on the common mole or nevocellular nevus, and its most frequently encountered variants. This book will not attempt to cover all melanocytic nevi or even the entire spectrum of nevocellular nevi. The term nevus will be used interchangeably with the term mole.

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