A Lesion Hits Its Growth Spurt


When she was 3 years old, a lesion appeared on this child’s face. It was small and caused little to no concern for several years. The child is now 9, and about a year ago, the lesion began to enlarge, ultimately reaching its present size.

First thought to be a pimple, the lesion was later deemed to be “cystic in nature” by another provider. By that point, however, the lesion was quite prominent—to the extent that it intrudes into the patient’s visual field. Perhaps more significantly for someone her age, it has prompted looks and comments that make her uncomfortable.

Fortunately, the lesion causes no pain or physical discomfort, and no other lesions have manifested. The child’s health is generally excellent.

A Lesion Hits Its Growth Spurt

A firm nodule, measuring 1.0 by 0.8 cm, is located on the patient’s left upper nasal sidewall. It stands out on an otherwise pristine face free of other blemishes. The lesion is predominantly red, with faint epidermal disturbance in the center. No punctum is appreciated. The lesion is quite firm on palpation, with just a hint of fluctuance but no tenderness or increased warmth.

Excision is clearly indicated; however, the wait for an appointment with a plastic surgeon is currently weeks to months. So an attempt is made to reduce the prominence of the lesion through incision and drainage, which also offers an opportunity to visualize its contents and possibly confirm a diagnosis. The lesion is opened with a #11 blade, and copious amounts of whitish, grainy material is digitally extruded.

What’s the diagnosis?

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