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Diagnosis of Pilomatricoma Using an Otoscope


Address correspondence to Alfred T. Lane, M.D., Professor and Chair, Department of Dermatology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford Hospital and Clinics, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford, 450 Broadway Street, Pavilion C, Redwood City, CA 94063, USA, or e-mail:


Abstract:  Pilomatricoma is a benign tumor that presents as a 3–30-mm, firm, solitary, deep, dermal or subcutaneous tumor on the head, neck, or upper extremities. The clinical diagnosis is often made by the firm, sometimes rock-hard texture of the skin. The diagnosis can be confirmed by a skin biopsy or excision of the lesion. We have recently noted that pilomatricomas appear as a black mass in the skin when the lesion is transilluminated by placing the light of a fiberoptic otoscope adjacent to the skin lesion. To our knowledge, this is the first report demonstrating preoperative diagnosis of pilomatricoma by transilluminating the lesion with an otoscope.