Using Tattoos to Cover A Halo Nevus

A halo nevus doesn’t need treatment unless there are signs of melanoma, which is skin cancer. Some people choose to have a mole removed for cosmetic reasons, but surgery has its risks and may even leave a scar.

Though getting a tattoo also has some risks, there are fewer risks than surgical removal of a halo nevus so this is why some people choose to get a tattoo to hide a mole like a halo nevus.

The problem with hiding a halo nevus is that the mole is less noticeable due to the tattoo, and it may be more difficult to monitor it for signs of cancer.

Designing a Tattoo Around Halo Nevus

Before the design of  the tattoo around a halo nevus, it would be a good idea to have it checked by a medical professional and make sure there are no signs of skin cancer. When the mole is not cancerous then, the design can be made around the mole or incorporated in the design.

In the case of halo nevus, it should be remembered that a halo nevus might change. The depigmented skin may enlarge and envelop the mole causing it to change size and shape or even disappear. Another consideration is that the tattoo may also change as the skin of the halo nevus changes. This doesn’t mean a person with this type of mole should avoid getting a tattoo but consider that the tattoo may need to be redone later, and any other related factors so the decision is an informed one.

Tattoo Designs… Where To Go?

There are many places to go to for tattoo designs that will work with a halo nevus, and these are some of them:

  • Tattoo parlor or shop
  • Online
  • Other people with a halo nevus
  • Tattoo artist
  • Friends or word of mouth

When getting a tattoo to reduce the visibility of a mole surrounded by a circle of whitish skin, go to someone who has experience with moles and ones that have halos.

Choosing a Tattoo Artists

When choosing a tattoo artist, choose one that follows proper sterilizing procedures. In addition, find one that is familiar with tattooing around different types of moles. This way if there are differences in the way the skin accepts the die, the tattoo will still turn out as expected. Though the tattoo may not ever need additional work, be prepared that it might. Some people even get a general estimate to be prepared. Even if not common, keep in mind that some health issues will prevent a tattoo from being worked on. Inks that carry a cancer risk should be avoided. These are not reasons not to get one, but more information to assist in making an informed decision.

Melanoma, Moles, and Tattoos

Getting a mole checked before getting a tattoo determines if cancer is present but it doesn’t guarantee that melanoma will not occur in the future. All moles should be monitored for signs of cancer, and though it is rare that a halo nevus develops cancer, it does occur. When a tattoo is done the mole may not even be noticed, which means that signs of cancer may go unnoticed. To reduce that risk, keep an eye on the mole. Some of the things to look for include the following:

  • Irregularity in shape
  • Changes in color
  • Larger than a pencil eraser
  • Changes
  • Raised surface
  • Firm
  • Size increase

A prompt diagnosis and early treatment increase the chances of a favorable melanoma prognosis.


A tattoo is an expressive and creative way to treat an unsightly halo nevus or other benign skin lesions for those who like tattoos. For others, it might be best to leave the halo nevus alone to live out its life uninterrupted. In rare cases, there will not be a choice in treating one of these types of moles because of skin cancer (melanoma).

Some healthcare professionals recommend not getting a tattoo near a nevus (mole) because of the risk of not noticing signs of skin cancer due to the design. Usually a regular visit to a doctor’s office to have it inspected will reduce that risk. Using a tattoo to hide a halo nevus can be a safe alternative to surgical removal.

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