Malherbe Calcified Epitheliomas

Malherbe’s calcified epitheliomas rarely take a malignant form. They are usually benign tumors that can be surgically removed.
Malherbe's calcified epitheliomas

Malherbe’s calcified epitheliomas  are also known as pilomatrixomas. This type of benign cancer mainly affects children and adolescents and is more common in women.

The first mentions of epitheliomas appeared in the works of Galen, i.e. around 200 AD. However, Malherbe’s calcified epitheliomas were described by Malherbe and Chenantins in 1880. These scholars called them  sebaceous calcification epitheliomas.

In 1949, Lever and Griesemer determined that nodules arise in hair follicles. In 1965, however, Cantwell and Reed identified Malherbe’s calcified epitheliomas as a condition  associated with myotonic dystrophy.

What are Malherbe calcification epitheliomas?

This type of tumor (Malherbe calcification epitheliomas) involves the hair follicles, especially those on the face.

Malherbe’s calcified epitheliomas are benign nodules that form on the outer layer of the skin. They come from the outer cells found in the hair follicles. They very rarely turn into a malignant variety.

This type of cancer  is associated with mutations in a gene called beta-catenin ( CTNNB1). In 94% of cases, they appear on the face, neck and upper limbs. In 21% of cases, they affect the skin around the eyes.

Malherbe’s calcified epitheliomas are most often located as follows:  30% on the neck, 17% on the cheeks, 16% on the scalp and 14% on the eyebrows. Sometimes they appear on the eyelids or on the upper lip.


Malherbe’s calcified epitheliomas are small nodules. They are usually between 0.5 and 5 cm in diameter. However, cases of nodules 15 cm large have been reported. They come in a variety of shapes and have a color similar to their skin, or are reddish or purple in color.

According to Carbajal and co-authors, this type of tumor  comes in three varieties. About 40% of cases are in children under the age of 10, and the remaining 60% in adolescents under the age of 20. It appears least frequently in the sixth and seventh decade of life.

These lumps are more common in women. They are generally asymptomatic, and can be painful at times. They very rarely take on a malignant form, and if it is mainly in men over 50, they usually metastasize to the lungs.

Malherbe’s calcified epitheliomas are composed of two types of cells:  basophils, which make up 50-75% of the tumor, and eosinophils.


A biopsy is required for the examination.

The diagnosis of Malherbe’s calciferous epitheliomas is based on observation. However, histopathological examinations are sometimes performed. A biopsy allows for drawing final conclusions.

As these nodules take various forms, differential diagnosis is necessary. They are easily confused with other diseases  such as cysts or calcification of the epidermis. They may also resemble malignant fibrosarcomas.

Most often, a fine needle biopsy is performed initially It is also recommended to conduct 2-3 clinical trials in order to refine the diagnosis.

Further information on Malherbe calcification epitheliomas 

Usually, epitheliomas of this type appear as single nodules. They are hard and have an irregular surface. You can feel it by stretching the skin with your fingers.

In addition to the clinical variants described by Carbajal  , other forms of this tumor are known. A rare type is the large-sized pilomatrixoma found in patients with Gardner’s syndrome.

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