Doctor's Answers (2)
An epidermal naevus is due to excessive growth of the cells in the epidermis (top layer of the skin). It often has a linear pattern and occurs from childhood. This is a benign condition and is not cancerous.
Treatment of epidermal naevus is mainly by surgical excision or laser or electrosurgical ablation of the naevus. Surgical excision is the most definitive treatment by will leave a line scar.
Laser or electrosurgical ablation of the naevus can also be considered. This involves burning off the top layer of the skin. However, there is higher risk of recurrence of the epidermal naevus with this treatment.
As Dr Colin Theng has mentioned, your epidermal naevus is a harmless condition so any treatment will be for cosmetic improvement.
Surgical removal ie cutting it out will leave a rather large scar but will have the advantage of completely removing the naevus. I often treat these with the CO2 laser which burns off the brown areas that you can see, leaving a flat brown mark that will usually improve over time. From studies, the recurrence rate is approximately 30% at 18 months. Most patients (75-90%) are satisfied with the outcome after CO2 laser.
Hope this helps!
Dr Stephanie Ho, Dermatologist