Skin nonmelanocytic tumor

Other tumors of skin


Last author update: 1 September 2012
Last staff update: 9 November 2020

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PubMed search: Xanthoma skin [title]

Christopher S. Hale, M.D.
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Cite this page: Hale C. Xanthoma. website. Accessed March 24th, 2023.
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.

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

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

Low power

Foam cells

Cholesterol cleft

Abundant foam cells

High power

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