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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Your Question

I recently had a biopsy which showed an acanthoma.  I am seeking information about this condition.

Our Answer

We have identified the following information that we hope you find helpful. If you still have questions, please contact us.

What is an acanthoma?

An acanthoma is a small, reddish bump that usually develops on the skin of an older adult.  There are several types of acanthoma, including "acantholytic", "epidermolytic", "clear cell", and "melanoacanthoma".[1]  Though most individuals have only one acanthoma, there have been rare reports of individuals who have developed many.  The exact cause of acanthoma is not known; it is sometimes called a benign tumor, and sometimes described as the result of inflammation.  Acanthomas are not considered dangerous and do not require treatment, but they may be removed for cosmetic reasons or to relieve any associated symptoms.[2][3]
Last updated: 3/26/2012

How might an acanthoma be treated?

Acanthomas are considered benign, but treatment may be done for cosmetic reasons or to relieve any associated symptoms.[2][3]  Because acanthomas are quite rare, there are no established guidelines for treatment.  Treatment may depend on the type, number, and location of acanthomas.  For example, a single acanthoma may be removed by surgery, whereas multiple acanthomas may be treated with cryosurgery or the use of the medication fluorouracil cream.[2]
Last updated: 3/26/2012

  • Omulecki A, Lesiak A, Narbutt J, Wozniacka A, Piekarski J, Biernat W. Plaque form of warty dyskeratoma - acantholytic dyskeratotic acanthoma. Journal of Cutaneous Pathology. 2007; 34:494-496. Accessed 3/26/2012.
  • Monari P, Farisoglio C, Gualdi G, Botali G, Ungari M, Calzavara-Pinton P. Multiple eruptive clear cell acanthoma. Journal of dermatological case reports. 2010; 4:25-27. Accessed 3/26/2012.
  • Andrews BT, Trask DK. Oral melanoacanthoma: a case report, a review of the literature, and a new treatment option. The Annals of otology, rhinology, and laryngology. 2005; 114:677-680. Accessed 3/26/2012.