Skin Adnexal Tumors

Skin adnexal tumors pathology

Skin adnexal tumors are found on ancillary structures on the skin including the nose, sweat glands, earlobes, and other unexpected locations. The name of the tumors found in these areas are also called Hence Tumors.

Are these tumors dangerous?

These tumors are not considered to be dangerous and are often benign. There is still always the chance of cancer forming but it is still quite rare in these areas. It can be troublesome when the tumors don't look so appealing and need cosmetic surgery.

These tumors can also potentially block essential bodily functions if they are formed in inconvenient areas of the body. A tumor forming on or by the eyelid is a good example. The tumors may also form on sweat glands and could potentially cause blockages in these areas as well.

There is a rare class of malignant adnexal tumors to look out for called microcystic adnexal carcinoma. This class of adnexal tumor aggressively spreads to other areas of the skin and can potentially spread cancer rapidly throughout the body. Although it is extremely rare, it should always be checked for in the event of the existence of any skin adnexal tumors.

Looking out for skin adnexal tumors

Medical experts are still not clear as to what is causing these tumors. A tumor is basically a mass of dead cells that form into a solid growth. When healthy cells are damaged or die, they are replaced with brand new healthy cells. When dead cells are present, they will stay and from the tumor mass.

When skin adnexal tumors are present, they will leave yellowish visible marks during the early stages of growth. It may not ever be so obvious that there is a tumorous growth in the early stages, so many times it goes ignored. Although it is possible that the tumors will not grow a significant amount, most patients won't seek medical attention until it gets quite large. Bringing up yellowish marks to doctors should be done so that preventative treatments can be administered.

Getting an official diagnosis

Doctors may be reluctant to diagnose relatively small skin adnexal tumors without thorough evidence. Early stages of these tumors will be incredibly insignificant, so a diagnosis is impossible during the early stages. Like mentioned above, a patient will probably not go to the doctor until the tumor has grown to an obvious size.

A doctor will thoroughly review a patient's medical records and make multiple physical examinations before ordering other types of testing. They may also choose to send a patient to a dermatologist to determine if it is not just a common skin condition. Specialists like dermatologists may also choose to order more advanced testing.

CT scans, MRI scans and X-ray imaging are common methods to rule out whether an individual has adnexal tumors forming. Advanced testing will also be able to determine if the tumor is cancerous or not. An obvious sign of a cancerous tumor is if it is missing the protective sac typically found in benign tumors.

Is there a treatment for skin adnexal tumors?

Although a patient will probably want any adnexal tumor removed immediately and treatment, doctors may not recommend it in non-lethal instances. Since small or non-invasive tumors are benign, it may be acceptable to just leave the tumor as-is. Understandingly, patients will likely choose to have surgery since it can be visible in the mirror. Surgery will typically be done with endoscopic tools.

If it has grown a significant amount, surgery will be dispatched to completely remove the mass. Patients can even elect to have surgery if it is non-essential for superficial purposes. A doctor will then follow up with a prognosis, especially in the event that a tumor was malignant.

Prevention and final words

Since the cause of skin adnexal tumors is vague, doctors cannot recommend specific preventative measures. General guidelines to prevent any kind of tumor would be to live a healthy lifestyle. The usage of drugs or tobacco can cause damage to the body's cells and thus increase the risk of tumors. Eating fruits and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants are also means to prevent damage to the body's skin cells.

Last Reviewed:
June 12, 2017
Last Updated:
June 12, 2017
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