Nevus anemicus is a rare congenital skin anomaly present at birth or in early childhood.
These macules are usually localized appearing mostly on the trunk. A rare case of generalized form had been reported. The anomaly is more prevalent in patients with neurofibromatosis type I. Nevus anemicus was first described by Hans Vorner in the year 1906. He demonstrated that there was reduced dermographism in the nevus when compared to normal surrounding area.
CausesNevus anemicus is not a hypopigmentation disorder. In hypopigmentation disorders there is absence or decrease of melanin skin pigment.
Differential diagnosisThe lesions can be differentiated easily from other hypopigmented lesions with loss of melanin. To differentiate from vitiligo and other hypopigmentation disorders, diascopy, a test for blanchability, is performed on the lesion by applying pressure with a glass slide to observing color changes.
TreatmentThere is no cure for this anomaly. Most of the lesions appear in covered areas of the body. If the macules are present in uncovered area of the skin, for cosmetic purposes camouflaging makeup may be tried.
Nevus anemicus diagnostic value in Neurofibromatosis type I patients
|nevus anemicus on leg|
Acquired nevus anemicus?The anomaly is generally considered congenital and non familial. However, Suhyun Cho et al  reported a case of the appearance of pale patch on the neck, one month after a cyst excision in a 53-year-old man. Application of pressure made the patch indistinguishable from the surrounding skin. Rubbing the lesion area made it appear clearly paler than the surrounding reddened area. Application of cold or heat did not induce any change in the lesion. The authors postulate that "the acquired anemic patch that developed after a cyst excision in this case can be explained as a variant of nevus anemicus."
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1.Ferrari F, Masurel A, Olivier-Faivre L, Vabres P4. Juvenile xanthogranuloma and nevus anemicus in the diagnosis of neurofibromatosis type 1. JAMA Dermatol. 2014 Jan;150(1):42-6.
2.Suhyun Cho, Jeong Eun Do, Sang Ho Oh. Acquired Anemic Patch Developed after a Cyst Excision: Is It a Variant of Nevus Anemicus?. Ann Dermatol. Feb 2012; 24(1): 84–86.
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Current topic in natural skin care: What is nevus anemicus?