Siteman Kids at St. Louis Children’s Hospital (SLCH) opened a Pediatric Melanoma and Nevus Clinic in May dedicated to serving patient families with concerns about melanoma and nevus. Melanoma is the most common skin cancer in children and adolescents.

Moles and birthmarks are common in children and most of the time are no cause for concern. Sometimes, however, the appearance of a mole or changes within a mole require a specialist’s attention. Siteman Kids formed the clinic to address the diagnosis and treatment of atypical or malignant moles that can affect children’s health.

The clinic is an interdisciplinary effort between SLCH’s dermatology and oncology departments. Based at the St. Louis Children’s Hospital Specialty Care Center, the clinic primarily sees patients referred by physicians, but patients may also book appointments directly.

The clinic, in conjunction with Washington University Physicians, offers a multidisciplinary approach, including physicians in dermatology, pediatric oncology, plastic surgery, pediatric surgery and pediatric otolaryngology with support of radiology, dermatopathology and genetics. Because so many specialties can be involved in a patient’s treatment, it can be difficult to coordinate care.

“That’s one of the reasons we established the clinic. We make it a priority to coordinate care and follow-up with multiple specialists all in one location, and preferably on the same day. That really expedites treatment,” says Carrie Coughlin, MD, Washington University pediatric dermatologist at SLCH.

All care is provided by pediatric specialists with board certification in their specialties. In addition, the clinic helps advance clinical and scientific knowledge about these conditions through participation in databases and clinical trials.

The Pediatric Melanoma and Nevus Clinic treats patients with:

  • Melanoma
  • Skin lesions concerning for melanoma
  • Atypical moles, including atypical Spitz nevi
  • Large or giant congenital moles
  • Familial skin cancer predisposition syndromes

Clinics are held twice monthly on Thursdays at St. Louis Children’s Hospital Specialty Care Center in west St. Louis County. To refer a patient, call Children’s Direct at 800.678.HELP (4357). Listen to Dr. Coughlin’s podcast about the new Clinic at StLouisChildrens.org/MelanomaPodcast.