BACKGROUND: The clinical and dermoscopic changes of melanocytic nevi under the effects of photo-epilation are poorly known.
OBJECTIVE: Prospective study on clinical and dermatoscopic effects of photoepilation on melanocytic nevi.
METHODS: Eighteen patients exposed to photo-epilation gave consent to a follow-up program from 2008 to 2017 at the Videodermatoscopic Office of the Dermatology Clinic of Cagliari (Italy), with clinical and dermoscopic assessment.
RESULTS: A mean 2-year follow-up was recorded for 73 lesions. The most frequent clinical change was nevi colour, clearer than basal pictures, sometimes with increased pigmentation at the periphery, or residual islands of pigmentation, with vanishing borders. Acute burn with crusting was noted in few cases. Only one case showed progressive growth. Corresponding dermoscopic findings were bleaching of nevi, followed by pigment network disruption, appearance of white structureless areas and grey-blue globules. Complete regression occurred in 32.8% of the lesions. The growing nevus was characterized by peripheral globules. Excision for histopathological examination showed a compound nevus with mild atypia.
CONCLUSIONS: Although malignant modifications of nevi after photo-epilation have not been described, the clinical and dermoscopic changes we observed suggest to extend the follow for more than 24 months, as the potential long term adverse effects of photo-epilation on melanocytic nevi are unknown.