Skin - Nonmelanocytic tumors
Other tumors of skin

Author: Christopher S. Hale, M.D.

Revised: 29 June 2018, last major update September 2012

Copyright: (c) 2001-2018,, Inc.

PubMed search: Xanthoma skin [title]

Cite this page: Hale, C.S. Xanthoma. website. Accessed December 15th, 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
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