A halo nevus also known as leukoderma acquisitum centrifugum, is a common benign (non-cancerous) skin disorder which is characterized by a pink or brown mole surrounded by a ring of depigmented skin. Halo nevus usually develops during childhood, adolescence and early adulthood. Although these lesions are harmless, one should always visit the dermatologist for confirmation. If a halo nevus develops in late adulthood, it may be the sign of existing melanoma.
Halo nevus can occur within any race or any gender. It can occur anywhere in your body, but usually seen on back and may be single or multiple. Initially the ring of pale skin may surround the existing mole. After several months or years the mole becomes pink or less pigmented and fades away on its own, while the area surrounding the mole may persist long. Finally, the affected area will gradually returns to its original color. In many of the cases the affected depigmented area may not return to its normal color.
Though the cause is still unknown, halo nevus is thought to be due to immune response against melanocytes. The appearance is so distinctive of halo nevus, diagnosis in not difficult. But, as halo nevi are associated with various skin disorders like vitiligo, existing melanoma and risk factor for melanoma, dermatological consultation is strictly necessary. Your dermatologist will make sure it’s non-cancerous by taking a sample for a biopsy.
Usually, halo nevi are harmless and self-limiting, so, treatment is not required. If the lesion is problematic for you, it can be removed along with the surrounding halo. Consult your dermatologist for further suggestion.
It is important to monitor the lesion on regular basis. If there is some changes in the appearance of the existing halo nevi or any other moles in your skin or any symptoms like itching, pain, infection at the site, you should immediately consult your doctor to exclude the possibility of cutaneous melanoma.
As the skin surrounding halo nevus has no protective melanin pigment, you should always avoid long term sun exposure and always apply sunscreen, especially during summer.