Becker’s Melanosis & Skin Pigmentation


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Becker’s melanosis is also known as Becker’s nevus. There is little information available about this disorder. This is probably due to it being discovered only recently as well as it being quite rare.

What does Becker’s melanosis look like?

The pigmentation caused by Becker’s melanosis usually appears first on the upper body and arm. At first it is an area of tan-brown irregular pigmentation but over time it will get gradually bigger and can become hairy. Once this has occurred, the pigmentation caused by Becker’s melanosis is usually permanent.

Who can get Becker’s melanosis?

Becker’s melanosis is a disorder which most often affects men. It is usually a disease which you develop as you get older; however there has been one case so far in which the disease has been seen at birth.

In a French study conducted in 1981, Becker’s melanosis was found in 100 out of 20,000 people. Half of these cases were in people younger than 10 years and the other half were aged between 10 and 20 years. It was also found that those exposed to the sun are more likely to develop Becker’s melanosis.

Are there links between Becker’s melanosis and cancer?

In 1991, it was found that there were 9 patients who had both Becker’s melanosis and melanoma. However, other than this there has been no other evidence that you are more likely to get cancer if you have Becker’s melanosis.

How is Becker’s melanosis treated?

Becker’s melanosis is a harmless condition and so does not need to be treated. Unwanted hair growth can be removed by shaving or trimming, and it is possible to get laser hair removal for more long term removal. Laser treatment can also be used to help reduce the appearance of the pigmented area.


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