What causes a cutaneous horn?

Updated: Jan 30, 2020
  • Author: Ginard I Henry, MD; Chief Editor: Gregory Gary Caputy, MD, PhD, FICS  more...
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Answer

Answer

The etiology of the cutaneous horn itself is unclear; the underlying associated skin disorder is the precipitating factor. The horn is composed of compact hyperkeratosis, which may be either orthokeratotic or parakeratotic in nature. Associated acanthosis is a common finding. The base displays features of the pathologic process responsible for the underlying lesion. Because of the potential of malignancy at the base of a cutaneous horn, excisional biopsy is recommended.

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