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Dermatology. 2012;224(1):15-9. doi: 10.1159/000337209. Epub 2012 Mar 28.

Eruptive vellus hair cysts: report of a new case with immunohistochemical study and literature review.

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  • 1Department of Dermatology and Laboratory of Dermatopathology, Edouard Herriot Hospital Group, Lyon, France.


Eruptive vellus hair cysts (EVHC) are rather uncommon lesions, of which 222 cases have been published in the literature. Their etiopathogenesis is poorly known. We report herein a new typical case of EVHC that was studied immunohistochemically. A 15-year-old male presented with a 4-year history of progressively developing small brown-gray papules on the trunk and extremities. Microscopically the lesions consisted of small epidermoid cysts containing vellus hairs. Immunohistochemically, the lesions expressed keratin 1/10, calretinin and p63 but no epithelial membrane antigen, filaggrin or androgen receptors. A review of the relevant literature shows that EVHC may be inherited or acquired and may be associated to other genodermatoses, namely sebocystomatosis. They could be due to hamartomatous follicular growth, to a trouble in infundibular keratinization leading to vellus hair follicle occlusion, or represent an example of acquired hamartoma. Although benign, this condition is difficult to treat.

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