© 2015 The Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.Cutaneous melanoma occurs only rarely in children under 10 years of age. Mimics of melanoma, including Spitz naevi and proliferative nodules in congenital melanocytic naevi are much more frequent in this age group. Melanoma arising in congenital melanocytic naevus is uncommon, but can show aggressive behaviour. Although spitzoid lesions constitute the majority of 'diagnostically challenging' cases, they are an uncommon cause of mortality in this age group. Among lesions with undoubted metastatic potential, there are biologically distinct tumours which differ significantly in behaviour from the common types of melanoma seen in adults. In patients over 10 years of age and increasingly into the late adolescent years, melanoma is a relatively common neoplasm. Just as in adult patients, care should be taken to exclude melanoma mimics. Particular care is warranted in this older age group in the assessment of lesions with spitzoid morphology as there is significant potential for both over-and under-diagnosis.