Halo Nevus Treatment & Management

Updated: Feb 15, 2019
  • Author: Edward J Zabawski, Jr, DO; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Medical Care

Halo nevi are benign, and no treatment is necessary.



The chief diagnostic consideration in patients with halo nevi is melanoma that is undergoing regression, although making this distinction is not usually difficult. Primary melanoma is usually solitary, whereas halo nevi are commonly multiple. Furthermore, children are affected more commonly with halo nevi; adults are affected far more commonly by melanoma. Nevertheless, the risk of an individual lesion should be assessed based on both its history and clinical features as a whole. Any characteristic deemed suspicious for possible malignant behavior should be definitively addressed. [12]

Melanomas with surrounding white or hypopigmented zones usually have been present for an extended period of time, and the white areas represent zones of regression. Thus, the "halo" of a regressing melanoma is irregular in shape and variable in radial width, as opposed to the evenly distributed, circular zone of hypopigmentation in true halo nevi, which is distributed around the central nevus. Furthermore, melanomas usually exhibit the characteristic clinical signs of breadth, asymmetry, poor circumscription, and color irregularity with black foci that usually allow the diagnosis to be rendered with relative ease.

In spite of clinically benign features, the presence of a new "halo nevus" in an older adult should be regarded with a high index of suspicion for melanoma and may warrant performing a biopsy. In those patients where a potential malignancy is in question, a dermatologist should be consulted.



The course of halo nevi is normally uncomplicated. Problems arise in those instances where the lesions have been misdiagnosed or when the lesion is excised and wound complications develop postoperatively.