- Cutaneous horns are basically nodules of keratin that protrude from the skin’s surface.
- These are usually benign lesions. However, there is a possibility that cutaneous horns are malignant.
- In general, the people most likely to have this type of growth are between the ages of 50 and 80. Men would have a higher risk of presenting a malignant lesion than women.
Strange but true. In Malaysia, a 63-year-old woman went to the Queen Elizabeth II Hospital in Kota Kinabalu because she had an itchy lump on her left breast. The patient explained to the doctors that this growth had been present on her breast for two years. Over the years it continued to grow and reached a length of about 5 cm. According to the practitioners who reported this rare case in the magazine Annals of Medicine and SurgeryAs comorbidities, the 60-year-old suffered from high blood pressure and dyslipidemia (a very high concentration of lipids in the blood), which could be treated well with medication.
The consequence of a Verruca vulgaris
The team opted for a breast ultrasound, which showed a skin lesion in the upper quadrant of the breast associated with thickening of the skin. The medics then performed an excision of the horn to analyze the removed tissue. “Histopathology of the lesion revealed verruca vulgaris. The patient underwent a dermatological examination which confirmed that she had no warts elsewhere and no other skin disorders,” we can read in the report.
The Malaysian woman clearly saw a noncancerous growth appearing on one of her breasts due to human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. According to doctors “The skin horns usually appear as elongated projections from a few millimeters to a few centimetres. They could also be described as ram’s horn. It gradually grows over the years and the longest reported has reached 25 cm.”
The horn has not reappeared
Practitioners decided to surgically remove the horn to relieve the sixty-year-old. Six months after the operation, the patient was healthy and showed no signs of recurrence. “In such cases, growth recurrence usually occurs when the base has debris that was not adequately removed on biopsy. Over time, this causes the horn to grow back. It is therefore of utmost importance that the base is properly removed”, Malaysian doctors said.