Skin melanocytic tumor
Topics to be merged
Junctional nevus

Topic Completed: 1 February 2017

Minor changes: 22 September 2020

Copyright: 2003-2021,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Junctional nevus [title]

Christopher S. Hale, M.D.
Page views in 2020: 6,142
Page views in 2021 to date: 1,265
Cite this page: Hale CS. Junctional nevus. website. Accessed March 4th, 2021.
Definition / general
  • Melanocytic proliferation restricted to basal epidermis (junctional area)
  • Earliest stage of intraepidermal melanocytic proliferation
  • Lentigo simplex:
    • Also called lentigo, lentigines
    • Often in acral sites
    • Precursor lesion to nevi, with proliferation of melanocytes (but no nests) in epidermal basal layer along rete ridges (DermNet NZ)
  • Multiple lentigines:
    • Associated with Peutz-Jeghers syndrome, centrofacial lentiginosis, Moynahan’s syndrome, LEOPARD syndrome, Carney’s syndrome and xeroderma pigmentosum
  • Traditionally considered more common in children (possible sampling bias), may actually occur in all ages (J Am Acad Dermatol 2007;56:825)
  • Melanomas may arise from junctional nevi
Clinical features
  • Small, flat or slightly elevated; non-hairy, deeply pigmented
Case reports
  • Regular pigmented network of brown and uniform color, more prominent in center with gradual fading to borders (reticular pattern)
  • May have black or brown globules and dots regularly distributed inside lesion (usually in central region)
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Rounded nests of melanocytes / nevus cells on epidermal side of dermoepidermal junction, originating from tips of rete ridges
  • Variable lentiginous melanocytic hyperplasia
Microscopic (histologic) images

Contributed by Mark R. Wick, M.D.
Missing Image

Breast skin

Differential diagnosis
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