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Epidermal Nevus Syndrome Treatment & Management

  • Author: Robert A Schwartz, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
Updated: Jun 06, 2016

Medical Care

Therapy is often challenging. Epidermal nevi are usually resistant to topical and intralesional steroids, dithranol, topical retinoids, and cryosurgery. Topical calcipotriol may be effective. In the United States, calcipotriol is not approved for children younger than 12 years.[28, 29]

For Schimmelpenning syndrome, antiepileptic medications (if needed) should be promptly considered.

Inpatient care is indicated only when potentially serious or life-threatening medical problems result from internal defects of the brain, eyes, or skeleton.


Surgical Care

If the size and the site are suitable, the nevus may be excised if desired by the patient.[30]

A neonate with seizures, linear sebaceous nevus syndrome, and hemimegalencephaly benefited from a hemispherectomy at 36 weeks' gestational age.[31]

Carbon dioxide laser therapy for linear nevus sebaceous in the Schimmelpenning-Feuerstein-Mims syndrome may be beneficial.[32]



For nevus comedonicus syndrome, if an associated cataract is present, consult an ophthalmologist for therapy.



A newborn girl was documented with a right-sided extended epidermal nevus, congenital rhabdomyosarcoma of the inguinal area, and hemihypertrophy. One should watch for a spectrum of organ system involvement in epidermal nevus syndrome at a very early age life.[33]

Facial paralysis due to an inflammatory pseudotumor of the facial nerve as a rare complication of epidermal nevus syndrome has been described.[34]



Epidermal nevus syndrome is a sporadic neurocutaneous linkage of congenital ectodermal defects and cannot be prevented.

Contributor Information and Disclosures

Robert A Schwartz, MD, MPH Professor and Head of Dermatology, Professor of Pathology, Pediatrics, Medicine, and Preventive Medicine and Community Health, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School; Visiting Professor, Rutgers University School of Public Affairs and Administration

Robert A Schwartz, MD, MPH is a member of the following medical societies: Alpha Omega Alpha, New York Academy of Medicine, American Academy of Dermatology, American College of Physicians, Sigma Xi

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.


Sergiusz Jozwiak, MD, PhD Professor and Head of Pediatric Neurology, Warsaw Medical University, Poland

Sergiusz Jozwiak, MD, PhD is a member of the following medical societies: Sigma Xi

Disclosure: Received honoraria from Novartis for speaking and teaching.

Specialty Editor Board

David F Butler, MD Section Chief of Dermatology, Central Texas Veterans Healthcare System; Professor of Dermatology, Texas A&M University College of Medicine; Founding Chair, Department of Dermatology, Scott and White Clinic

David F Butler, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Medical Association, Alpha Omega Alpha, Association of Military Dermatologists, American Academy of Dermatology, American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, American Society for MOHS Surgery, Phi Beta Kappa

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Van Perry, MD Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Dermatology, University of Texas School of Medicine at San Antonio

Van Perry, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Chief Editor

William D James, MD Paul R Gross Professor of Dermatology, Vice-Chairman, Residency Program Director, Department of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

William D James, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology, Society for Investigative Dermatology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.


Mark A Crowe, MD Assistant Clinical Instructor, Department of Medicine, Division of Dermatology, University of Washington School of Medicine

Mark A Crowe, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Dermatology and North American Clinical Dermatologic Society

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

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Characteristic epidermal nevus in the axillary fossa of a child with Jadassohn nevus phakomatosis.
An extensive plaque is observed over most of the left scapula, neck area, and lumbosacral location.
Plaque is evident in the region of the left groin, and it has a unilateral distribution.
Epidermal nevus syndrome, demonstrating extension of a plaque distally.
Extensive unilateral linear epidermal nevi in a 14-year-old girl with Jadassohn nevus phakomatosis. The plaques are elevated; some have verrucous characteristics.
An 8-year-old girl with Jadassohn nevus syndrome. Note typical plaques in the midline and on the arm and the neck. The plaques are darker and more verrucous on the arm and the neck than on the midline.
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