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Hidradenocarcinoma of Skin

Last updated May 14, 2022

Reviewed by: Lester Fahrner, MD

Approved by: Krish Tangella MD, MBA, FCAP

Hidradenocarcinoma of Skin is a malignant tumor that may occur spontaneously or may arise from a benign hidradenoma.


What are the other Names for this Condition? (Also known as/Synonyms)

  • Clear Cell Eccrine Carcinoma of Skin
  • Malignant Clear Cell Acrospiroma of Skin
  • Primary Mucoepidermoid Carcinoma of Skin

What is Hidradenocarcinoma of Skin? (Definition/Background Information)

  • Hidradenocarcinoma of Skin is a malignant tumor that may occur spontaneously or may arise from a benign hidradenoma
  • It is typically observed in young, middle-aged, and older adults. The tumor is normally painless and grows slowly anywhere on the body
  • The risk factors and cause of Hidradenocarcinoma of Skin are generally unknown; however, the presence of a benign hidradenoma is known to contribute towards its development
  • The treatment of choice is a surgical excision with clear margins followed by radiation therapy or chemotherapy, as decided by the healthcare provider
  • In majority of the cases, the prognosis is good with appropriate early treatment. However, the prognosis of Hidradenocarcinoma of Skin also depends upon the stage of the tumor, health status of the individual, and whether it has metastasized

Who gets Hidradenocarcinoma of Skin? (Age and Sex Distribution)

  • Hidradenocarcinoma of Skin is normally observed in adults in the age range 30-60 years. A peak incidence is seen around the age of 50 years (average age of presentation)
  • The condition has been rarely reported in children too
  • Both males and females are affected, though the condition is slightly more common in females than males
  • There is no predilection for any specific racial or ethnic group

What are the Risk Factors for Hidradenocarcinoma of Skin? (Predisposing Factors)

  • The risk factors for Hidradenocarcinoma of Skin include the presence of a benign hidradenoma
  • Currently, no other risk factors have been clearly established

It is important to note that having a risk factor does not mean that one will get the condition. A risk factor increases ones chances of getting a condition compared to an individual without the risk factors. Some risk factors are more important than others.

Also, not having a risk factor does not mean that an individual will not get the condition. It is always important to discuss the effect of risk factors with your healthcare provider.

What are the Causes of Hidradenocarcinoma of Skin? (Etiology)

  • The cause of development of Hidradenocarcinoma of Skin is unknown
  • It usually occurs sporadically or from benign hidradenoma (tumor) of skin
  • Genetic mutations have been suspected by researchers in some cases, but these have not been well-characterized

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Hidradenocarcinoma of Skin?

Hidradenocarcinoma of Skin may present the following signs and symptoms:

  • It is typically seen as a solitary nodule that can vary in size from 2-10 cm
  • The tumor is generally painless and usually grows slowly
  • The skin lesion may ulcerate, which can cause pain at the site
  • It can occur at any location on the body

How is Hidradenocarcinoma of Skin Diagnosed?

A diagnosis of Hidradenocarcinoma of Skin may involve the following:

  • A thorough medical history and physical examination
  • Dermoscopy: It is a diagnostic tool where a dermatologist examines the skin using a special magnified lens
  • Wood’s lamp examination: In this procedure, the healthcare provider examines the skin using ultraviolet light. It is performed to examine the change in skin pigmentation
  • Skin biopsy: A skin biopsy is performed and sent to a laboratory for a pathological examination. The pathologist examines the biopsy under a microscope. After putting together clinical findings, special studies on tissues (if needed) and with microscope findings, the pathologist arrives at a definitive diagnosis

Many clinical conditions may have similar signs and symptoms. Your healthcare provider may perform additional tests to rule out other clinical conditions to arrive at a definitive diagnosis.

What are the possible Complications of Hidradenocarcinoma of Skin?

The complications of Hidradenocarcinoma of Skin may include the following:

  • The tumor can metastasize to the lymph nodes (local) or to different parts of the body
  • Ulceration of the tumor can lead to secondary infections of bacteria and fungus
  • Some individuals may have concerns regarding their cosmetic appearance
  • Recurrence of the tumor after a period of time on its incomplete removal
  • Side effects of chemotherapy (such as toxicity) and radiation

How is Hidradenocarcinoma of Skin Treated?

The treatment of Hidradenocarcinoma of Skin may involve the following:

  • In most cases, a wide surgical excision and removal of the entire tumor is the preferred treatment option. This may be followed by radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy
  • If the tumor has metastasized, then a combination of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and invasive procedures may be used to treat the tumor
  • Follow-up care with regular screening and check-ups are important and encouraged

How can Hidradenocarcinoma of Skin be Prevented?

  • Currently, there are no known methods to prevent Hidradenocarcinoma of Skin occurrence
  • Regular medical screening at periodic intervals with blood tests, scans, and physical examinations are mandatory, due to its metastasizing potential and possibility of recurrence. Often several years of active vigilance is necessary

What is the Prognosis of Hidradenocarcinoma of Skin? (Outcomes/Resolutions)

  • Hidradenocarcinoma of Skin is a malignant tumor and its prognosis depends upon a set of several factors, which include:
    • Stage of tumor: With lower-stage tumors, when the tumor is confined to site of origin, the prognosis is usually excellent with appropriate therapy. In higher-stage tumors, such as tumors with metastasis, the prognosis is poor
    • The surgical resectability of the tumor (meaning, if the tumor can be removed completely) 
    • Overall health of the individual: Individuals with overall excellent health have better prognosis compared to those with poor health
    • Age of the individual: Older individuals generally have poorer prognosis than younger individuals
    • Whether the tumor is occurring for the first time, or is a recurrent tumor. Recurrent tumors have poorer prognoses compared to tumors that do not recur 
    • Response to treatment: Tumors that respond to treatment have better prognosis compared to tumors that do not respond so well to treatment
  • An early diagnosis and prompt treatment of the tumor generally yields better outcomes than a late diagnosis and delayed treatment
  • If metastasis (such as to the local lymph nodes) is observed, then the prognosis can be unpredictable
  • Regular follow up visits with the healthcare provider are important

Additional and Relevant Useful Information for Hidradenocarcinoma of Skin:

  • There is no evidence to prove that Cutaneous Hidradenocarcinoma formation is influenced by one’s dietary choices
  • Cleaning the skin too hard with strong chemicals or soaps may aggravate the skin condition. Care must be taken avoid strong soaps and chemicals that could potentially worsen the condition
  • The presence of dirt on the body is not a causative factor for the condition. However, it helps to be clean and hygienic, which may help the condition from getting worse

What are some Useful Resources for Additional Information?


References and Information Sources used for the Article:


Helpful Peer-Reviewed Medical Articles:


Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: Jan. 7, 2016
Last updated: May 14, 2022