Since nevi are the most prevalent of all skin tumors and since many are situated on the face, patients frequently request their removal for cosmetic reasons. A brief clinicopathologic description of the life cycle of the nevus1 will be presented first as a guide to the physician in the cosmetic management of nevi. The description presented here applies only to white skins and may or may not be applicable to other races. The method of removing nevi for cosmetic reasons will then be presented. This discussion of nevi is limited to those arising from nevus cells and does not include other birthmarks, such as hemangiomas, which are sometimes called nevi.
Life Cycle of the Nevus
The pigmented nevus (nevus cell nevus, or common mole) is peculiar to man and is the most common neoplasm found in humans. Everyone has a few nevi somewhere on his body; most persons age