Health
Fact-checked

At TheHealthBoard, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.

Learn more...

What Is Nevus of Ota?

Nevus of Ota is a benign, blue-gray pigmentation that typically appears on the face and is more common in individuals of Asian descent. It's caused by an increased number of melanocytes, the cells responsible for skin color. Intrigued by how this condition affects the skin and eye health? Discover the implications and treatment options as we explore the nuances of Nevus of Ota.
Andy Josiah
Andy Josiah

Nevus of Ota is a skin lesion of blue or gray pigmentation that occurs on the face. The condition is usually congenital, meaning that it occurs before or during birth. In some cases, nevus of Ota may appear in the eye, which usually indicates the presence of ocular disease. The condition goes by several other terms, which include congenital nevus fuscoceruleus ophthalmomaxillaris, melanosis bulbi, oculodermal melanocytosis and oculomucodermal melanocytosis. Nevus of Ota is referred to as nevi of Ota in plural form.

M.T. Ota, known by the pen name Mokutaro Kinoshita, was a Japanese doctor who first described the condition in 1939, which is why it is named after him. The nevi develop from melanocytes, which are the cells in the bottom layer of the epidermis, or the skin's outer layer. Melanocytes are responsible for producing melanin, which provides the skin with its color. Therefore, nevus of Ota occurs when there is hyperpigmentation, or abnormally increased coloration. The cause of this condition remains unknown, though it is known to occur most commonly in Japan, where 1 in every 2,000 people develops it.

In some instances, nevus of Ota affects the eye and may signal an ocular disease.
In some instances, nevus of Ota affects the eye and may signal an ocular disease.

Nevus of Ota gradually grows larger in size and darker in color as time passes. Skin-related nevi might be a sign of melanoma, which occurs when melanocytes become malignant and cause skin cancer. Melanoma can also appear in the eyes if it bears the hyperpigmentation. Glaucoma, however, is most commonly associated with eye-related nevi of Ota. Damage to the optic nerve due to this eye disorder can lead to blindness.

Nevus of Ota is typically treated with a pulsed Q-switch laser.
Nevus of Ota is typically treated with a pulsed Q-switch laser.

The standard, ideal treatment for nevus of Ota is pulsed Q-switched laser surgery. Also known as giant pulse formation, it involves transforming lasers into pulsed output beams targeting the dermal melanocytes. The widespread adoption of Q-switched laser surgery is attributed to its success rate, which is no lower than 90 percent. It is usually administered in four to eight treatments.

Dermabrasion was previously used to treat nevi of Ota, but modern treatments are less invasive.
Dermabrasion was previously used to treat nevi of Ota, but modern treatments are less invasive.

Q-switched laser surgery for nevus of Ota has superseded older surgical treatments such as cryotherapy, which involves application of cold to destroy tissue abnormalities, and dermabrasion, which involves wearing away the skin defects with tools and agents such as sandpaper and lasers. Some people use makeup to cover up the blemish, though it is a mere cosmetic rather than medicinal solution. After dermal treatment, no follow-up appointments usually are required and prognosis typically is excellent. People with ocular occurrences, however, might want to regularly visit their ophthalmologists to make sure the condition does not morph into glaucoma or melanoma.

You might also Like

Discussion Comments

anon323053

I do have nevus of ota. I want to get that laser treatment, but I am afraid it will make it worse.

Post your comments
Login:
Forgot password?
Register:
    • In some instances, nevus of Ota affects the eye and may signal an ocular disease.
      By: FotolEdhar
      In some instances, nevus of Ota affects the eye and may signal an ocular disease.
    • Nevus of Ota is typically treated with a pulsed Q-switch laser.
      By: spotmatikphoto
      Nevus of Ota is typically treated with a pulsed Q-switch laser.
    • Dermabrasion was previously used to treat nevi of Ota, but modern treatments are less invasive.
      By: Photographee.eu
      Dermabrasion was previously used to treat nevi of Ota, but modern treatments are less invasive.
    • Glaucoma is most commonly associated with eye-related nevi of Ota.
      By: Hunor Kristo
      Glaucoma is most commonly associated with eye-related nevi of Ota.