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Pilomatrixoma in Children

What is a pilomatrixoma in children?

A pilomatrixoma, also known as pilomatricoma, is a slow-growing, often noncancer (benign) skin tumor of the hair follicle. It is most common on the face and neck, but it may be on other parts of the body. A pilomatrixoma is often a single lump. But sometimes there may be more than one. Pilomatrixomas are more common in children and young adults than in older adults.

How to say it

PI-loh-may-trihk-SOH-mah

What causes a pilomatrixoma in a child?

Pilomatrixomas develop when cells harden and form a lump under the skin. The cells are similar to hair follicle cells.

Pilomatrixomas may be more common in some families. They may also happen with conditions that are inherited (genetic syndromes).

What are the symptoms of a pilomatrixoma in a child?

Here are the most common symptoms of a pilomatrixoma:

  • A small, hard lump beneath the skin, often on the face or neck

  • The skin covering the lump looks normal or may have a blue color

  • The lump is often painless, unless it becomes infected

The symptoms of a pilomatrixoma can seem like other health conditions. Make sure your child sees their healthcare provider for a diagnosis.

How is a pilomatrixoma diagnosed in a child?

A pilomatrixoma is often diagnosed based on how it looks and feels. Diagnostic tests may include:

  • Biopsy. A tissue sample is taken and looked at under a microscope.

  • Imaging. An X-ray, ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI may be done.

How is a pilomatrixoma treated in a child?

Treatment may include surgery to cut out the lump.

What are possible complications of a pilomatrixoma in a child?

Most children don't face any serious complications. But pilomatrixomas can become cancer in rare cases. Pilomatrixomas can also come back after they are removed. Surgery to remove the lesion will result in a scar.

When should I call my child’s healthcare provider?

Call your child’s healthcare provider if you notice any skin lumps or masses.

Key points about pilomatrixomas in children

  • A pilomatrixoma is a slow-growing, often noncancer (benign) skin tumor of the hair follicle.

  • It is a small, hard lump beneath the skin. It's most often on the face and neck.

  • The lump is often painless, unless it becomes infected.

  • It's often diagnosed based on how it looks and feels. But a biopsy and imaging tests may also be done.

  • Treatment may include surgery to remove the lump.

Next steps

Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your child’s healthcare provider:

  • Know the reason for the visit and what you want to happen.

  • Before your visit, write down questions you want answered.

  • At the visit, write down the name of a new diagnosis, and any new medicines, treatments, or tests. Also write down any new instructions your provider gives you for your child.

  • Know why a new medicine or treatment is prescribed and how it will help your child. Also know what the side effects are.

  • Ask if your child’s condition can be treated in other ways.

  • Know why a test or procedure is recommended and what the results could mean.

  • Know what to expect if your child does not take the medicine or have the test or procedure.

  • If your child has a follow-up appointment, write down the date, time, and purpose for that visit.

  • Know how you can contact your child’s provider after office hours. This is important if your child becomes ill and you have questions or need advice.

Online Medical Reviewer: Michael Lehrer MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Raymond Kent Turley BSN MSN RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Rita Sather RN
Date Last Reviewed: 11/1/2020
© 2000-2020 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.