Clear cell acanthoma, also called pale acanthoma, is a benign skin tumor. Here are four things you need to know about clear cell acanthoma.
What are the signs of clear cell acanthoma?
Typically, clear cell carcinoma presents as a single papule (pimple-like lesion) on the skin. This papule can range in color from pink to brown and tends to have a shiny appearance. The papule has well-defined borders, and the borders of the lesion may be crusted.
Clear cell carcinoma grows slowly and is usually smaller than two centimeters in diameter, though in some cases, they can get as large as a few centimeters. If you notice a single, shiny lump on your skin, ask your dermatologist to take a look at it.
Why does this tumor form?
Doctors still don't know the exact cause of clear cell acanthoma. Trauma, drugs, and toxic substances have all been ruled out as possible causes. One theory is that people with clear cell acanthoma have a metabolic enzyme defect, according to NIH. This enzymes role is to help the body produce keratin, one of the fibrous proteins that makes up your skin, and defects can allow too much keratin to form, creating a lesion on the skin. More research needs to be done to confirm this theory.
How is clear cell acanthoma diagnosed?
Clear cell acanthoma looks very similar to a lot of other skin lesions, including some types of skin cancers, so your dermatologist will need to perform a shave biopsy to rule out other possible causes. Your dermatologist will first numb the area around your lesion, then shave off the lesion with a scalpel. A laboratory will then analyze the tissue to determine the exact type of lesion you have. If the diagnosis of clear cell acanthoma is confirmed by the laboratory, your dermatologist can proceed with treatment.
How is clear cell acanthoma treated?
Clear cell acanthoma is treated with surgical removal. If your lesion was diagnosed through a shave biopsy, it will already have been satisfactorily removed, so no further treatment will be required unless the lesion recurs.
Since shave biopsies leave flat or slightly-indented scars, you may require additional treatments to camouflage the scars. Your dermatologist may prescribe a skin-lightening cream to make the scar less noticeable, and if the scar is indented, it can be levelled with treatments like fillers.
If you think you have clear cell acanthoma, see a dermatologist like Dermatology Associates right away.