Learn all about pilomatricoma cyst and its treatment. Pilomatricoma was first described in 1880 by Chenantia and Malherbe. They thought that the condition was caused by a problem with the sebaceous glands. Because of this, Pilomatricoma was named as Malherbe Calcifying Epithelioma. In 1922, Cezenave and Dubreuilh described the characteristic histologic finding of the tumor.
When a person has pilomatrixoma there are abnormal cells that closely resemble hair cells that harden, or calcify, and join together causing a mass to form under the skin. Some feel that pilomatrixoma has hereditary factors because when a child has this medical condition it is often seen in one or more members of the family. According to medical research that has been done, it has shown that there are mutations in the CTNNB1 gene in at least seventy-six percent of pilomatrixoma cases diagnosed. The CTNNB1 gene is the one that is responsible for the protein that is needed to regulate cell attachment and growth.
Pilomatricoma is responsible for twenty percent of tumors involving the hair matrix and is the most common tumor affecting it. The incidence of pilomatricoma is up to 40% in children less than 10 years of age and 60% of people before the age on twenty. Females are more at risk for developing it. It is also common among fair-skinned people or those belonging to the Caucasian race. More than 50% of cases have pilomatricoma tumors on the head and neck.
Pilomatricomas consist of anucleate squamous cells (called “ghost cells”), benign viable squamous cells and foreign body giant cells. These neoplasms have a characteristic transition of cells. The lining of the cyst consists of basaloid cells with indistinct cell borders and basophilic nuclei that mature into the eosinophilic anucleated squamous cells. The presence of calcifications with foreign body giant cells is common within the tumors.
Complications of pilomatricoma include the growth of the tumor to a large size up to few centimeters in diameter. Cancer resulting from pilomatricoma is rare. Pilomatrix carcinoma or cancer arising from pilomatricoma is characterized by hyperchromatic, rapidly proliferating and pleomorphic cells. The primary treatment of pilomatricoma is the removal of the tumor. Excision of pilomatricoma is relatively easy because most of the tumors are encapsulated. However, recurrences may arise after the procedure when incomplete excision is performed. During excision, the presence of a less defined tumor that adheres to the surrounding tissues may indicate malignancy.
What is Pilomatricoma Cyst?
Pilomatricoma is a benign skin tumor involving the hair matrix. It is also known as Malherbe calcifying epithelioma or calcifying epithelioma of Malherbe. It was previously known as Pilomatrixoma before the term Pilomatricoma. Pilomatricoma is harmless and does not progress to skin cancer. It is commonly present in children, but may also affect adults. The tumors arise on the head and neck where hair follicles are present, but it may develop in other parts of the body. The lesions are skin-colored but may be purplish in other patients.
Pilomatricoma Cyst Symptoms
The symptoms of a pilomatricoma include a small, hard mass less than 3 cm in diameter, typically covered by normal-appearing skin. The mass is usually painless unless it becomes inflamed or infected.
- Tumors are angulated in shape otherwise known as the ten sign
- Tumors feel bonny and rock hard because of the calcifications
- Tumors are slow growing
- Bluish to red or purplish skin lesions
- Usually, occurs solitarily
- Freely mobile tumors due to a well-encapsulated structure
- May grow up to 5 cm in diameter
Pilomatricoma Cyst Pictures
Pilomatricoma Cyst Treatment
A pilomatrixoma will not go away or become smaller; therefore, surgical excision is the treatment of choice. The most common form of treatment is to surgically remove the tumor unless it is malignant. The procedure is short and will usually not take too long to do. Normally it will take just one surgical operation to cure this condition. The reason that most physician option to surgically remove it is that the chances are low of it re-growing. If it is malignant, in addition to surgically removing it, the patient will undergo radiation or chemotherapy in order to prevent the cancer cells from spreading to other parts of your body.
Pilomatricoma Cyst Prognosis
Pilomatricoma seldom progresses to malignancy. Recurrence of the condition is also rare when careful excision is performed. The presence of multiple recurrences should be evaluated with pilomatrical malignancy. The long-term outlook (prognosis) for people with an isolated (without other signs and symptoms) pilomatrixoma is usually good. Most people do not experience any serious complications, although pilomatricomas can become cancerous (known as a pilomatric carcinoma) in rare cases. When surgically removed, pilomatricomas typically do not grow back (recur), unless the excision was incomplete.