Background. To study the prevalence of common melanocytic nevi (MN) in a population of adolescents attending the secondary school in Verona, Italy. Also, relationship between melanocytic nevi, lifestyle and sun-exposure has been investigated. Methods. From February to May 1996 262 adolescents underwent dermatological examination: site and size of all the melanocytic nevi larger than 2 mm in diameter, phenotype, phototype, pattern of lentigines and freckles were recorded. The parents were requested to fill a questionnaire about lifestyle and sun exposure habits of their sons. Statistical analysis was done with Friedman and Wilcoxon tests for paired samples and Kruskal-Wallis test for independent samples. Results. A total of 127 males and 135 females, mean skin area m2 1.6��0.3 e m2 1.5��0.2 respectively have been enrolled in this study. A higher prevalence, statistically significant, of nevi on the photoexposed skin areas (p<0.001) was detected. A relationship, but not statistically significant, between solar burns in childhood and melanocytic nevi density of the whole skin surface was found (p=0.06). Subjects with lighter phenotypes and blue/grey eyes had a higher mean density of nevi. Conclusions. Our results confirm the data from the literature about higher density of nevi in photoexposed areas and in subjects with lighter phenotypes. Further studies are needed to investigate the relationship between risk factors for melanocytic nevi in childhoon and melanoma.
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