A dysplastic nevus is an atypical or abnormal mole. They are benign moles that are unusual and share many features of a melanoma. Some melanomas may develop from a dysplastic nevus. People who have a dysplastic nevus have an increased risk of melanoma. Regular dermatology visits with close monitoring along with monthly self-skin examinations and sunscreen use are strongly recommended. The risk increases with the number of lesions a person has along with other risk factors such as skin color, family history and past sun exposure. The signs of a dysplastic nevus are similar to that of a melanoma; however, they are NOT a cancer. It is often hard to distinguish from an early melanoma so often times a biopsy is performed.