Spitz Nevus: Review and Update

Clin Plast Surg. 2021 Oct;48(4):677-686. doi: 10.1016/j.cps.2021.06.002. Epub 2021 Aug 18.


The Spitz nevus is an uncommon melanocytic nevus. These lesions classically appear in childhood as a red, dome-shaped papule. They appear rarely in adults and may be pigmented. The Spitz nevus can develop suddenly and grow rapidly, reaching a 1-cm diameter in 6 months or less. There are 3 classes of spitzoid neoplasms: typical Spitz nevus, atypical Spitz nevus, and spitzoid melanoma. The diagnosis should be cautiously differentiated, especially in children. Immunohistochemistry and molecular studies have been helpful in differentiating difficult cases; however, no set of criteria has been accepted to predict biological behavior of atypical Spitz nevi.

Keywords: Atypical Spitz nevus; Juvenile melanoma; Skin neoplasm; Spindle and epithelioid cell nevus; Spitz nevus; Spitz tumor; Spitzoid lesion; Spitzoid melanoma.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Melanoma* / diagnosis
  • Nevus, Epithelioid and Spindle Cell* / diagnosis
  • Skin Neoplasms* / diagnosis