What Is A Pilomatricoma? Its Causes And Symptoms

Pilomatricoma

A pilomatricoma or pilomatrixoma refers to a noncancerous tumor that usually grows in your hair follicles. It is a rare condition. The tumor looks like a hard lump on the area of your skin. It commonly occurs on the neck and head but can appear on any part of your body.

Pilomatricoma affects young adults who are below 20 years and children. The tumor can become a cancerous growth called pilomatrix carcinoma but this case is very rare. 

The condition of pilomatrix carcinoma is also called trichomatrical carcinoma or malignant pilomatricoma. Medical literature reported only 130 cases related to cancerous pilomatricoma.

Symptoms

The range of size of pilomatricomas is ¼ inch to two inches. Their growth is slow. Moreover, they do not induce pain in people. In some cases, people may develop more than one lump. Following are the other symptoms of pilomatricoma.

  • Blush red skin
  • Tent sign
  • Teeter totter sign

Causes

Matrix cells of your hair follicles contain pilomatricomas. It is a collection of cells that are fast-growing and appear in each hair follicle that is involved in the production of hair fibers. The cells of the hair matrix start reproducing irregularly in pilomatricoma.

Researchers have no confirmation about why this condition appears. But it seems that this condition is associated with the CTNNB1 gene’s mutation. This gene is responsible for sticking cells together. The mutation does not transfer genetically. 

The pilomatricomas that are isolated, are not inherited in most cases. The condition rarely spreads to more than one member of the family. It suggests that some cases may contain a hereditary component. 

The condition of pilomatricoma may present in people who have certain genetic syndromes like Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome, Gardner syndrome, and myotonic dystrophy. In these cases, people may develop the symptoms of certain other associated conditions.

All these conditions are considered inherited in a dominant autosomal manner. In some cases, affected people inherit certain mutations from the affected parents. 

Other cases are of new mutations in people’s genes. These cases are reported in people who have no family history of the disorders. The condition of pilomatricoma primarily appears in young adults and children. Approximately, 40 percent of cases reports appear before the age of ten.

Moreover, 60 percent of cases appear before the age of 20 years. Girls are vulnerable to develop this condition 50% more as compared to boys. The condition of pilomatrix carcinoma is common in middle-aged white men.

Diagnosis

You may confuse pilomatricomas with some other benign growths of skin like epidermoid cysts and dermoid. Your doctor uses a biopsy to confirm whether you have a pilomatromca or not.  In this procedure, he will remove all or some parts of the lump.

He examines the tissues under a microscope. It helps to detect if the spot is cancerous.

Treatment

Pilomatrocoma usually does not cause issues. But they don’t disappear themselves. Their size can become large over time so people go to the doctor for the removal of pilomatricomas. Your doctor will recommend a surgical excision if you want to remove your pilomatrixoma.

This procedure involves cutting off the targeted tumor. Doctors do this straightforward procedure with the help of local anaesthesia. You might be tested again once your doctor removes the tumor. 

Can You Develop Complications?

Most of the pilomatricomas are bening. But some alter into cancerous cells. That is the reason it is important to be examined for this condition and to detect if you have cancerous cells. It helps you to take early treatment to avoid getting complications. 

Your doctor will remove the pilomatricoma if it appears cancerous through biopsy. Doctors may also remove some areas of surrounding skin in order to remove all the cancerous parts. It decreases the risk of recurrence of pilomatricoma.

Do not take the risk to leave the condition untreated if your pilomatrixoma is cancerous. Leaving cancerous pilomatrixoma makes you vulnerable to develop other conditions related to your health. Go to visit a doctor if you notice any small growth on your skin area at any body part.

If you are middle-aged and notice any growth in the area of your skin then make an appointment with your doctor to be tested for cancerous pilomatrix carcinoma. The reason is that most cancerous cells form in this age and late in life.

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