Skin nonmelanocytic tumor
Other tumors of skin

Topic Completed: 1 September 2012

Revised: 5 April 2019

Copyright: 2001-2018,, Inc.

PubMed search: Xanthoma skin [title]

Christopher S. Hale, M.D.
Page views in 2019: 8,570
Page views in 2020 to date: 341
Cite this page: Hale C. Xanthoma. website. Accessed January 17th, 2020.
Definition / general
  • Nonneoplastic
  • Often periarticular; also trunk or extremities of males
  • Associated with hyperlipidemia (primary or secondary to diabetes, hypothyroidism, myeloma, lymphoma, leukemia, obstructive liver disease)

Eruptive xanthoma:
  • Abrupt onset of crops of yellow papules with erythematous halos on extremities, which wax and wane with triglyceride and cholesterol levels

Plane xanthoma:
  • Linear yellow lesions in skinfolds, including palmar creases
  • Associated with primary biliary cirrhosis

Tuberous / tendinous xanthoma:
  • Yellow nodules on Achilles tendon and extensor tendons of fingers

Verruciform xanthoma:
  • Papillomatous, verruca-like change of overlying epidermis

  • Soft yellow papules and plaques in eyelid
  • Some cases lack lipid abnormalities
Gross description
  • Nodules
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Fat laden histiocytes in dermis or subcutis
  • Also in tendons, synovium and bone
Microscopic (histologic) images

Images hosted on PathOut server:

Contributed by Hillary Rose Elwood, M.D.

Eruptive xanthoma: dermal foamy histiocytes with admixed neutrophils and extravascular lipid

Back to top