Nevus of Ota

What is Nevus of Ota?

Nevus of Ota is the existence of excessive melanocytes in the tissues on or around the eye. These tissues cause hyperpigmentation to occur in the eye or surrounding it. Hyperpigmentation can take form as freckle-like spots, in a blue or brownish color. Most of the time, Nevus of Ota presents at birth. If this type of dermal melanocytosis doesn’t appear at birth, it may appear during adolescence. Generally, Nevus of Ota only affects one eye or one side of the face. In some cases, it can spread past the eye and eyelid to the forehead, cheeks, and nose.

Appearing more commonly in women than man, at a 5:1 ratio, Nevus of Ota should be monitored by a physician. At Dermatology and Skin Health, our expert providers closely track and monitor any patients with Nevus of Ota, looking for any changes or inconsistencies in the pigmentation.

What is hyperpigmentation?

Hyperpigmentation occurs when there is an excessive amount melanin in certain areas, causing the skin in that particular area to darken. In this case, hyperpigmentation is caused by excessive melanocytes that take on a freckle-like appearance.*

What are the most common symptoms?

If you notice hyperpigmentation in any of these areas, it should be checked out by your physician:

  • iris
  • eyelid
  • areas around the eye
  • whites of the eye
  • forehead
  • nose
  • cheeks
  • side of the face

Is Nevus of Ota cancerous?

Generally, this type of dermal melanocytosis is benign. However, it should be monitored. Patients with this type of hyperpigmentation are at risk for glaucoma later in life. Similarly, in rare cases, it can cause other issues with the eyes, because of the disruption of the flow of fluids to the eye, causing pressure build-up. Finally, in some cases, it can lead to malignant melanoma. Therefore, while generally harmless, this type of hyperpigmentation should be closely monitored by your physician.

Schedule a Consultation in Seacoast, NH or North Shore, MA

To learn more about Nevus of Ota, please contact one of our offices in either the Seacoast region or the North Shore. During your consultation, one of our expert providers will determine which treatment plan is best for you. Call (603) 742-5556 (Dover & Newington) or (978) 531-7677 (Peabody), or request your consultation on our website to get started.


Explore Treatments We Offer for Nevus of Ota:


*Individual results may vary; not a guarantee.

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We're happy to answer any questions you may have, feel free to call us at
(603) 742-5556