Cutaneous or sebaceous horns, also known by their Latin name cornu cutaneum are rare skin growths, shaped like an animal horn, varying in size from a few millimeters to a few centimeters. They can appear as yellow, pink or brown and may have a flat, protruding or crater-like base. More common in older and fair-skin individuals (skin type I and II), manifesting in both men and women, cutaneous horns have a higher incidence of developing premalignant or malignant characteristics in the former category. Mainly caused by prolonged exposure to sunlight or harmful radiations, cutaneous or sebaceous horns appear on the face, ears, back of the hands generally, but can also manifest on other parts of the body that are usually sheltered from sunlight.
Specialists at Renew Skin & Health Clinic always recommend a thorough skin examination of these skin growths due to the fact that although mainly benign, these keratin horns can also develop premalignant and malignant features. Hence, there are two types of cutaneous horns, which depend on the skin conditions underlying them. And although there is no well-determined cause for them, cutaneous horns have generally been observed to appear in associations with other skin tumours.
The benign skin conditions associated with cutaneous horns are seborrheic keratosis, epidermal naevus, viral warts, molluscum contagiosum, ostraceous psoriasis and hypertrophic lichen planus.
The second type of cutaneous horns with premalignant and malignant characteristics include skin conditions such as actinic keratosis, intraepidermal carcinoma, keratoacanthoma, squamous cell carcinoma and, rarely, malignant melanoma.
In order to effectively determine the type of cutaneous or sebaceous horns you are suffering from, you need to be assessed by a specialist, and Renew Skin & Health we have the necessary professional team and equipment. A biopsy may be required to eliminate the possibility of any potentially malignant skin growth, so an accurate diagnosis may recommend the cutaneous horns removal treatment that will best suit your individual case.