About me: I’m male and I am 24 years old. At the age of 10 I realized the first time that I have a slight mark in the area between my stomach and my chest.
In the following 5 years the mark got a bit darker and hair grow started. With the age of 18 I contacted first time a dermatologist which classified my mark as a Becker Nevus. My personal experience with BN: I was collecting a lot of information regarding BNs on many different ways (doctors, books, internet).
I try to sum up the most important things. Becker nevus belongs in the group of harmless mole/birthmarks. It is not dangerous and mainly a visual problem. The BN usually develops at teenager-age around 15.
It is darker than the normal skin and it usually has a hair growth. Both, darkness and hair growth, can vary in its extent. The BN is more sensitive regarding sun and therefore always should be protected with sun cream (factor 50). Also in the area of the BN during teenager ages it has a high chance of getting pimples/spots.
To get rid of the BN or not? I didnt really care about my BN a lot at the age of 10. However the older I became the more I was worried about my BN. Usually other people didn’t ask questions about it and if they did, they usually told me that it is not a big deal. However it became a big deal for me. I started to avoid scenes at public when I had to take of my shirt (for example at the gym) and I also evaded places like the beach or public baths. Even when I was alone at home, I didn’t like to walk around without my shirt.
At this point I realized that the actually harmless BN did constrain/influence my life in a psychological way. It is easy for other people to tell you that it is not a big deal, because they don’t have to live with it.
By the question if you want to get rid of the BN or not, you should consider mainly your own opinion and not the opinion of others. If you are unsure of getting rid of the BN or not, ask yourself the question:
Do I feel ashamed by showing off at public places? Does the BN influence my way of life in any way? I know that depending on character, some people can live with a BN as if they don’t have one. They can show off in public and they feel absolutely comfortable. In this case the BN is not a problem for them. It is a psychological question.
My advice: Do not listen on the opinion of others, judge yourself. If you can answer my two question from the beginning of the paragraph with “yes”, then my advice is definitely: Try to get rid of the BN!
How to get rid of the BN? If you look on the internet or even if you ask doctors/dermatologists, they usually tell people that there is no way to get rid of the BN. Some of them might tell you that there is a way of laser removal.
However: I was looking up in the internet many many hours and days and I was also getting information from people and from books and I never ever heard of a successful story of laser removal. No matter what type of laser was used.
Firstly, people usually spent a lot of money for such kinds of treatment. Secondly, In most of the cases nothing happened. In some cases the BN got even worse! And in some cases the BN slightly lighted up (but still was visible!). Laser treatment can be useful, if you want to get rid of the hair growth (in some cases the hair growth of BN is huge, luckily in my case it was never a problem). For me I just shave the BN every second/third day in the same procedure when I shave my face.
However I know that the dark skin is the main problem and not the hair growth. So, by my huge experience about BN, I can tell you finally the following:
The only successful way of getting rid of your BN, is to get it covered by a tattoo!
I know that this sounds strange when you hear it the first time, but due to the fact that there is no way to “remove” the BN, you can only “cover” it.
Is it dangerous? No it’s not. I know that Tattoos should not be done over moles due to 2 reasons:
A mole could change to cancer. If you cover a mole, then you can’t see if the mole itself change and therefore you wouldn’t realize when it change and you could not prevent cancer.
If you ink a mole, the probability that the mole will result into cancer is bigger. However: A Becker nevus is harmless and has no higher probability of cancer than normal skin. It is different than other moles like for example: liver spots. Every person has liver spots and you shouldn’t cover them with a tattoo because of the 2 reasons above.
Results? By looking up in the internet you can find a lot of results of BN that got treated with a tattoo cover. My result is showed by the pictures attached.
As you can see, the tattoo is not only covering my BN, it is even covering my scars on the chest (from spots). After my first tattoo session the BN was covered about 70%. It was still slightly visible depending on the light. But already at this point, even the BN was still a bit visible, I was able to take off my shirt in public without shame.
One year later I added some more grey shadow, and now it is covered 80% and the still visible part of the BN is a part of the tattoo itself now and looks great. Of course you could also tattoo something that covers the BN 100%.
However then you need to use color ink and me personally I prefer black&grey tattoos. Finally you have to find the compromise between covering your BN and getting a tattoo that you like. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me!