By Gary M. White, MD

Epidermal nevus

An epidermal nevus is a benign, congenital thickening of the epidermis.


A congenital, brown or tan, keratotic, verrucous papule or plaque or linear lesion may be seen.


Papular epidermal nevus with skyline basal cell layer (PENS) is a recently described and very rare type of epidermal nevus with characteristic histopathologic findings. Clinically, one sees small, round to oval, comma-shaped or polygonal, scattered, hyperkeratotic papules [Ped Derm 2016;33;296].


No treatment is needed. If small, surgical excision may be done. Various destructive modalities, including cryotherapy, electrodessication and laser have been employed with varying success.

Additional Pictures

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An epidermal nevus may last one's entire life. Here is one in the axillary area of an 80 year old.
Epidermal nevus


Epidermal nevus without and with Dermoscopy from JAAD August 2013 Volume 69, Issue 2, Pages e43–e44


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