Division of Pediatric General, Thoracic and Fetal Surgery

A Guide to Your Child's Surgery

Our Surgery Guide will help you and your family prepare for your child's upcoming surgery, outlining what to expect from the first pre-op visit all the way through to her discharge.

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What is pilomatrixoma?

A pilomatrixoma is small, hard mass found under the skin. It most commonly presents as a single lump found on the face or neck. However, multiple masses may be found.

Pilomatrixoma can also be found on the scalp, eyelids, and arms.Pilomatrixoma
This child has two pilomatrixoma — hard masses found under the skin.  © CHOP

Most cases of pilomatrixoma occur in children younger than 10, but are also seen in older children and young adults. Females are twice as likely as males to have a pilomatrixoma.

The symptoms of a pilomatrixoma include a small, hard mass less than 3 cm in diameter, typically covered by normal-appearing skin. The mass is usually painless unless it becomes inflamed or infected.

A pilomatrixoma forms when cells abnormally harden and form a mass under the skin. The cells involved are similar to hair follicle cells.

Evaluation and Treatment

A pilomatrixoma is diagnosed by physical examination. A pilomatrixoma will not go away or become smaller; therefore, surgical excision is the treatment of choice.

Surgical Excision

Removal of a pilomatrixoma is a day surgery, meaning your child will go home the same day as the procedure. The mass will be removed and sent to the lab to confirm the diagnosis.

Follow-up care

Your child will need to return to clinic about 2-4 weeks after surgery.

Recurrence rates after surgical excision of pilomatrixoma are low, but patients should be monitored to ensure the lesion does not return.

Contact us

To make an appointment to have your child evaluated by CHOP’s Division of Pediatric General, Thoracic and Fetal Surgery, please call 215-590-2730.

Created by: Mary Kate Klarich, MSN, CRNP
Reviewed by: Joy Collins, MD
March 2012


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