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Nevi of Ota and Ito are colored skin markings of blue/grey or slate-brown coloring. They are unusual birthmark in which the melanocytes it's a pigment cell that are found deeper than normal which is in the dermis instead of the epidermis.

The difference between a nevus of Ito and nevus of Ota is its location. nevus of Ito is on the shoulder and upper arm area , Nevus of Ota is on the forehead and face around the eye area;.

Nevus of Hori also has a similar appearance to the nevus of Ota. However, it is not present at birth, and it usually affects both sides of the face.

How do you get these nevi?

The actual reason for these nevi is still not known.

Nevi of Ota are much more common than nevi of Ito and are present in about 50% of birth cases. Nevi of Ota may also suddenly appear during adolescence. Thus researchers says hormones play a very important part in their development.

Nevi of Ota and Ito are most common and founded in Asian populations; 0.2-0.6% of Japanese people have nevi of Ota. It is more frequently found in females. Both forms of nevi are very uncommon in Caucasians.

Signs, Symptoms and Complications

Nevus of Ota

  • Hyper pigmentation is usually located on one side of the face (unilateral) but can be on both sides as well.
  • May involve hyper pigmentation of parts of the eye: sclera, cornea, iris, retina and also inside of the mouth
  • Nevi may slowly grow and darken until a person is grown up.
  • Colour or perceived color of nevi may change according to environmental or personal conditions, e.g. fatigue, menstruation, hot weather
  • May rarely cause glaucoma
  • Malignant melanoma very rarely develops, particularly in Caucasian cases

Nevus of Ito

  • Hyper pigmentation located over the shoulder girdle region, usually on one side only
  • Possible sensory changes to the involved skin

How does Nevus of Ota & Ito LaserTreatment Work

Cosmetic laser treatment is usually is a safe and effective treatment to these colored markings. Laser treatment of intense pulsed light (IPL) work by destroying the dermal melanocytes.

In case the eye is affected, regular eye examinations is suggested to detect glaucoma. You should see a dermatologist if there is any change in the nevus, especially if you are fair-skinned.

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