Skin - Nonmelanocytic tumors
Other tumors of skin

Author: Christopher Hale, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 6 October 2016, last major update September 2012

Copyright: (c) 2001-2016,, Inc.

PubMed search: xanthoma [title] skin

Cite this page: Xanthoma. website. Accessed June 21st, 2018.
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