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Bathing Trunk Nevus

Alternate Names

  • giant nevus
  • giant hairy nevus

Definition

A bathing trunk nevus is a large, pigmented, mole-like birthmark. It usually covers an extremely large area of the body, often in the area covered by a pair of bathing trunks. It is often covered with hair.

What is going on in the body?

A collection of mole, or nevus, cells forms a very large brown mole during development in the womb. The bathing trunk nevus is present at birth.

Risks

What are the causes and risks of the condition?

Although the cause of bathing trunk nevus is unknown, there may be a hereditary factor in some cases.

Prevention

What can be done to prevent the condition?

There is no known prevention for a bathing trunk nevus.

Diagnosed

How is the condition diagnosed?

The healthcare provider can diagnose a bathing trunk nevus when he or she examines the characteristic birthmark. A biopsy may be done to determine if the cells have become cancerous.

Long Term Effects

What are the long-term effects of the condition?

A bathing trunk nevus may develop into melanoma, a particularly serious form of skin cancer. The cosmetic appearance may cause psychosocial problems.

Other Risks

What are the risks to others?

There are no risks to others.

Treatments

What are the treatments for the condition?

The lesion must be carefully monitored for any changes in color or texture. Surgery to remove the nevus may be recommended to prevent the development of melanoma.

Side Effects

What are the side effects of the treatments?

Surgery may cause bleeding, infection, and allergic reactions to the anesthesia.

After Treatment

What happens after treatment for the condition?

After the nevus is removed, the area needs to be watched closely for signs of infection.

Monitor

How is the condition monitored?

A bathing trunk nevus should be closely monitored by the healthcare provider. The affected person, or the family, should report any changes in texture or color to the healthcare provider.

Sources

Skin Disorders: Mosby's Clinical Nursing Series, MJ Hill, 1994.

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