Trichilemmoma is a medical condition that causes one or more non-cancerous lesions to appear on the body, particularly the face. These lesions begin at the outer portion of the hair follicle root sheath. While the trichilemmoma lesions are often referred to as tumors and can look a lot like certain types of skin cancer, they are not malignant. This condition was once thought to be related to a type of sexually transmitted infection known as HPV, although there is no scientific evidence backing up this hypothesis. Any questions or concerns about trichilemmoma should be discussed with a doctor or other medical professional.
The lesions associated with trichilemmoma may sometimes resemble warts or some forms of skin cancer, causing an accurate diagnosis to become a little tricky. Some doctors may suggest a medical procedure known as a biopsy so that a small sample of the tissue from the lesion can be sent to a lab for further testing, helping the doctor to be sure that the tumor is not cancerous. The benign skin lesions present in trichilemmoma do not usually require medical treatment, although some patients may prefer to have them removed for cosmetic reasons.
Multiple trichilemmoma lesions on the face often indicate the presence of a medical condition known as Cowden's disease. This is an inherited condition that causes the development of multiple tumors throughout the body. These tumors generally start off as benign, although this disease does increase the risk of developing some forms of cancer, and other health concerns may also be present. A variety of diagnostic tests, including blood tests and radiological imaging, may be performed to rule out the presence of this disease.
The most common locations of trichilemmoma are on the face and neck, although other areas of the body, such as the ears, hands, or forearms, may sometimes be affected. The cause of the development of these non-malignant tumors is not clearly understood, and the condition affects women and men equally. The lesions typically appear as small, raised, flesh-colored nodules. These nodules tend to grow very slowly, although they may develop into quite large lesions over time.
Although trichilemmoma is primarily considered a cosmetic condition, some patients prefer to have the lesions removed. There are several surgical options available designed to remove the lesions with little to no resulting scars. A dermatologist is a doctor who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of skin disorders and can assist the patient in choosing the best removal procedure for each individual situation.