SynopsisCodesLook ForDiagnostic PearlsDifferential Diagnosis & PitfallsBest TestsManagement PearlsTherapyReferences

View all Images (11)

Nevus depigmentosus in Adult
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Nevus depigmentosus in Adult

Contributors: Mehdi Rashighi MD, Susan Burgin MD
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed


Nevus depigmentosus (also known as nevus achromicus) is a common congenital disorder characterized by focal nonprogressive hypopigmentation that remains stable in its shape and distribution throughout life, although its size typically grows in proportion to overall body growth. Nevus depigmentosus typically presents at birth (0.5%-1.25% of neonates) or at a very early age, usually before 3 years. Although there are reports of nevus depigmentosus arising later in childhood, it is difficult to determine whether the lesions had actually been present prior to their discovery because of the lack of color contrast in infants with untanned skin.

Most patients will have just one macule or patch, although there are reports of patients having as many as 10. In cases where there are numerous lesions, other diagnoses should be considered. There are no particular sites of predilection.

Nevus depigmentosus is distinguished from vitiligo by a very different clinical course. Vitiligo is an acquired (and not congenital) pigmentary disorder with an unpredictable natural course, with individual lesions presenting abruptly, which may progress or regress. Lesions in vitiligo are depigmented, whereas lesions in nevus depigmentosus are hypopigmented. Furthermore, the distribution of vitiligo is symmetric, with predilection for the face and areas subject to repeated friction, such as hands, feet, and genitals.

There are no associated systemic abnormalities with nevus depigmentosus, and lesions do not have malignant potential.


L81.8 – Other specified disorders of pigmentation

403541001 – Nevus depigmentosus

Look For

Subscription Required

Diagnostic Pearls

Subscription Required

Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls

  • Vitiligo
  • Postinflammatory hypopigmentation
  • Pityriasis alba
  • Hypomelanosis of Ito
  • Nevus anemicus
  • Pityriasis lichenoides chronica
  • Hypomelanotic macules of Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma 
Infectious conditions:
  • Tinea versicolor
  • Tinea corporis
  • Leprosy

Best Tests

Subscription Required

Management Pearls

Subscription Required


Subscription Required


Subscription Required

Last Updated:11/16/2017
Copyright © 2024 VisualDx®. All rights reserved.
Nevus depigmentosus in Adult
A medical illustration showing key findings of Nevus depigmentosus : Hypopigmented macule, Hypopigmented patch, White color
Clinical image of Nevus depigmentosus - imageId=807042. Click to open in gallery.  caption: 'Subtle, large, hypopigmented patches with feathery borders, on the back and arm.'
Subtle, large, hypopigmented patches with feathery borders, on the back and arm.
Copyright © 2024 VisualDx®. All rights reserved.