Not Your Average Skin Cancer: A Rare Case of Pilomatrix Carcinoma

Skin Cancer

J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2020 Jun;13(6):40-42. Epub 2020 Jun 1.


Pilomatrix carcinoma is a rare malignancy stemming from aberrant proliferation of matrical cells found in developing hair. This neoplasm demonstrates a bimodal age distribution and a proclivity for developing on the head or neck. Clinically, a firm, painless, violaceous nodule with overlying ulceration is commonly described. Pilomatrix carcinoma is considered a variable-grade malignancy that tends to be locally aggressive, though metastatic disease occurs in 10 to 16 percent of cases. Mortality

rates range from 7 to 9 percent. Although there is no definitive treatment protocol, surgical intervention in the form of local excision or via Mohs micrographic surgery can be considered, with radiotherapy adopted as an effective alternative for nonsurgical, recurrent, or metastatic disease. Here, we describe the case of a 62-year-old man who presented for evaluation of a red, enlarging lesion on his forehead which became tender and started to bleed shortly before the patient presented to our clinic. The patient was ultimately referred to a tertiary care center for surgical excision and, at the time of this pubilcation, has been tumor-free for more than one year. This case of a rare and often unconsidered neoplasm underscores the importance of clinical suspicion and close patient follow up to prevent local recurrence, metastasis, and death.