Skin nonmelanocytic tumor

Other tumors of skin


Last author update: 1 September 2012
Last staff update: 14 April 2023

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PubMed search: Xanthoma skin

Christopher S. Hale, M.D.
Page views in 2023: 15,366
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Cite this page: Hale C. Xanthoma. website. Accessed May 19th, 2024.
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

Contributed by Hillary Rose Elwood, M.D., Andrey Bychkov, M.D., Ph.D. and Jijgee Munkhdelger, M.D., Ph.D.

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

Mild chronic inflammation

Foam cells

Cholesterol cleft

Abundant foam cells

Lipid laden macrophages

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