Epidemiology of Melanocytic Naevi in Children from Lleida, Catalonia, Spain: Protective Role of Sunscreen in the Development of Acquired Moles
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The worldwide incidence of malignant melanoma is increasing. The number of pigmented naevi and amount of solar exposure are important risk factors. The aim of this study was to characterize a paediatric population (from Lleida, Catalonia, Spain) in terms of phenotype, sun behaviour and naevi prevalence. Data on the numbers and distributions of acquired naevi in 369 children, aged 4, 8 and 14 years, were collected and correlated with age, sex, skin phototype and environmental factors (annual/lifetime intermittent and chronic sun exposure, sunburns and sunscreen use). The density of naevi increased with age. Boys had more naevi on the trunk and girls had more naevi on the legs. Children with light skin phototype had more naevi. A higher level of accumulated sun exposure correlated with a higher number of naevi in children with non-adequate sunscreen use. In conclusion, several risk factors associated with naevi density and distribution were found, as previously reported by others. Multivariate analysis confirmed a protective role of sunscreen in the development of acquired melanocytic naevi.