Hair follicle tumors are small wart-like tumors on the hair follicles which are usually benign. There are two varieties of this type of tumor – pilomatricomas and trichoepitheliomas.
Pilomatricomas are rare tumors that originate in the cells that produce hair follicles. While these tumors are usually benign, the malignant form is very invasive and typically requires aggressive surgery as they can reappear after surgical removal.
Trichoepitheliomas are small tumors that are also usually benign. They appear as a granular, yellow “cheesy” material often along the back, shoulders, or limbs. Many of these superficial tumors ulcerate and ooze fluid and can become secondarily infected.
The development of hair follicle tumors is based on a chemical called B-catenin. B-catenin is required for differentiation of skin cells into hair follicles, and if there is an overproduction, the tumors develop. Certain dog breeds have a genetic predisposition for these tumors. These breeds include the Bichon Frise, the Bouvier des Flandres, the Kerry Blue Terrier, the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, and the Standard Poodle.
Have you had any experience with hair follicle tumors? If so, please share your story!
Heather Kalinowski lives in the Seattle area with her husband, newborn son, and two rescued pups – an Italian Greyhound named Ava and a Spaniel mix named Jackson. She enjoys reading, writing, spending time with her family, and volunteering with Italian Greyhound Rescue.