Coronavirus Update:What patients and families need to know
What causes pilomatrixoma in children?
Pilomatrixomas develop from an abnormal formation of cells that are similar to hair cells, which become hardened or calcified. The calcified cells form a mass beneath the skin.
Other members of a child's family may also have pilomatrixoma, suggesting a genetic component.
What are the symptoms of pilomatrixoma in children?
The following are the most common symptoms of pilomatrixoma. However, each child may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include a small, hard mass beneath the skin of the face, head, neck or arms. The mass is usually less than 3 centimeters in diameter and the skin covering the mass appears normal or may feel firm or hardened. Usually, the mass is painless unless it becomes infected.
The symptoms of pilomatrixoma may resemble other neck masses or medical problems. Always consult your child's doctor for a diagnosis.
How is pilomatrixoma diagnosed in children?
Generally, pilomatrixoma is diagnosed by physical examination. In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, diagnostic procedures for pilomatrixoma may include a biopsy — a procedure in which tissue samples are removed (with a needle or during surgery) from the body for examination under a microscope to determine if cancer or other abnormal cells are present.
What is the treatment for pilomatrixoma in children?
Specific treatment of pilomatrixoma will be determined by your child's doctor based on:
- Your child's age, overall health and medical history
- Extent of the condition
- Your child's tolerance for specific medications, procedures or therapies
- Expectations for the course of the condition
- Your opinion or preference
Treatment may include surgery to remove the mass and some of the surrounding tissue.