Congenital Cheek Nevus

Q: Dr. Eppley, I have a large congenital nevus on my left cheek. It has been bothering me all my life and at this point I just want it gone. Please see below for pictures. Would skin graft treatment be an option for me and would it have a lesser chance of scarring?

A: Thank you for sending your cheek nevus pictures. The best way to treat your congenital cheek nevus is through a process known as serial excisions. You can’t just cut the whole nevus out or skin graft it as that would end up making it look worse. To end up with the best final scar, one does subtotal removal of the nevus inside its existing margins for two stages spaced three months apart. This does not overstretch the surrounding skin (thus keeping the scar narrow) and keeps making the nevus smaller. After two stages only a thin one of nevus if any will be left for the third and final excision/scar revision. All of these procedures can be done in the office under local anesthesia. There will be a scar but the goal is to have it end up as small as possible without distorting the surrounding cheek tissues.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana