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Through the Dermoscope

Dermoscopy of Juveline Xanthogranuloma

Chauhan, Payal; Jindal, Rashmi; Chugh, Robin

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Indian Dermatology Online Journal: Mar–Apr 2022 - Volume 13 - Issue 2 - p 292-293
doi: 10.4103/idoj.IDOJ_113_20
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A 6-year-old male child presented with a raised lesion over scalp which the parents noticed one year back. There were no associated complaints. On examination, we found a single, firm, reddish-orange nodule of approximately 1 cm × 1 cm with overlying telangiectasias [Figure 1]. Dermoscopic examination of the nodule using DermLite DL4 (3Gen, San Juan Capistrano, California, USA) was done and images were captured with DermLite adapter for iPhone X. Dermoscopy revealed multiple, well-focused polymorphous vessels, namely linear-irregular, looped, and branching vessels at center as well as periphery with an underlying diffuse orangish-yellow background surrounded by erythematous zone [Figure 2]. Excision biopsy of the nodule was done and sent for histopathological examination with clinical differentials of juvenile xanthogranuloma (JXG), epidermal cyst, and trichilemmal cyst. Histopathological examination revealed a normal epidermis with poorly circumscribed collection of lymphocytes, foamy histiocytes, neutrophils, and giant cells. On higher power, multiple Touton and foreign body-type giant cells were seen in dermis [Figure 3a and b]. Diagnosis of JXG was made after clinical, dermoscopic and histopathological correlation.

Figure 1:
Single, reddish-orange nodule with overlying telangiectasia over scalp
Figure 2:
Multiple, polymorphous vessels over a yellowish-orange background surrounded by erythema (DermLite DL4, 10×, polarized mode, 3Gen, San Juan Capistrano, California)
Figure 3:
(a) Histopathological examination showing a normal epidermis with poorly circumscribed collection of lymphocytes, histiocytes, and giant cells in dermis (H&E, 4×). (b) Collection of foamy histiocytes and multiple Touton giant cells are seen in the dermis (H&E, 10×)

JXG is a disorder of histiocytic proliferation, having a benign self-limited course. It presents congenitally or during early childhood as yellowish-nodules, papules, or plaque.[1] The yellow and orange color seen on dermoscopy of JXG reflects the lipid-laden histiocytes and granulomatous inflammation present under the microscope, respectively.[2] Dermoscopic appearance of central orange–yellow background with surrounding erythematous border seen in JXG, has been given a metaphorical term “setting-sun pattern.”[3] Dense, diffuse histiocytic infiltrate present in dermis pushes the dermal vessels upward closer to skin surface which appear as well-focused linear and branching vessels on dermoscopy. The appearance of setting-sun pattern has also been described in dermoscopy of reticulohistiocytoma, Erdheim–Chester disease, and xanthoma disseminatum.[2] Clinical and dermoscopic findings of JXG and its differentials are discussed in Table 1. Considering the self-limited nature of JXG, it is of utmost importance to correctly diagnose JXG to avoid invasive procedures in children. Dermoscopy can act as an adjunctive tool to clinical examination in reaching a final diagnosis of JXG.[4]

Table 1:
Clinical and dermatoscopic findings of JXG and its differentials

Declaration of patient consent

The authors certify that they have obtained all appropriate patient consent forms. In the form the patient(s) has/have given his/her/their consent for his/her/their images and other clinical information to be reported in the journal. The patients understand that their names and initials will not be published and due efforts will be made to conceal their identity, but anonymity cannot be guaranteed.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.


1. Mun JH, Ohn J, Kim KH. Dermoscopy of giant juvenile xanthogranuloma J Am Acad Dermatol. 2017;76:S76–8
2. Peter DCV, Thomas AL, Pulimood SA, Thomas M. Setting sun pattern in dermoscopy of a scalp nodule Australas J Dermatol. 2019;60:71–72
3. Palmer A, Bowling J. Dermoscopic appearance of juvenile xanthogranuloma Dermatology. 2007;215:256–259
4. Ehara Y, Yoshida Y, Yanagihara S, Shiomi T, Yamamoto O. Trichilemmal cyst with dermatofibroma-like features on the leg J Dermatol. 2017;44:e71–e72
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