Malignant hair follicle tumors of the periorbital region

a review of literature and suggestion of a management guideline

Paul Ikgan Sia*, Edwin Figueira, Alexandra Allende, Dinesh Selva

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

2 Citations (Scopus)


Malignant hair follicle tumors are rare skin adnexal malignancies that have a predilection for the head and neck region. They can be categorized into a number of different subtypes. Histologically, they are distinct from their benign counterpart. To the best of our knowledge, there is no extensive review of these malignancies, especially in the periorbital region. We aim to provide a literature review and a guideline for management of these malignant tumors in the periorbital region. Database from Medline, PubMed, Embase, and Google Scholar were consulted. A total of 16 cases from the literature on hair follicle malignancies in the periorbital region were included in this review. The clinical presentations, diagnostic patterns, investigations used, and best management approach of these tumors are discussed. The American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) 7th edition carcinoma of the eyelid staging system was used to describe their behaviors. We recommend wide excision surgery and a close follow-up for these tumors. Tumors presenting with a late stage require work-up for distant metastasis and consideration for exenteration procedures. The role of radiotherapy and chemotherapy in this context is still uncertain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)144-156
Number of pages13
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 3 May 2016
Externally publishedYes



  • eyelid
  • Hair follicle malignancies
  • periorbital
  • pilomatrix carcinoma
  • trichilemmal carcinoma

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