An observational case series on dermatoscopic patterns of fading melanocytic naevi

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The prevalence of melanocytic naevi falls with age. It has been postulated that this could be due to spontaneous involution (fading). Our objective was to provide dermatoscopic evidence of fading naevi and to describe the patterns of fading observed.


Serial dermatoscopic images of naevi demonstrating fading were collected from a set of 25 000 images. Any naevi that showed significant fading, as compared to previous imaging of the same lesion, were included in the analysis.


A total of 47 naevi in 21 patients were found to have significantly faded over a span of 2–11 years. The dermatoscopic fading was observed to occur in two patterns. The most common pattern observed was generalised fading (n = 45), where fading was present over all the naevus. There were two cases of focal fading (n = 2) where fading was present only over one area of the naevus.


Fading melanocytic naevi are uncommon. Melanocytic naevi fade in recognisable patterns, with generalised fading most commonly observed in our series.

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