Mucinoses are a diverse group of uncommon skin disorders. All involve accumulation in the skin of abnormal amounts of mucin. This is a jelly-like complex carbohydrate substance, called hyaluronic acid, that occurs normally as part of the connective tissue in the dermis or mid-layer of the skin. The abnormal deposits that occur in mucinoses can be localised or widespread. They vary from minor cosmetic nuisances to potentially severe conditions involving internal organs. The underlying cause of this group of disorders is not well understood.
Reticulate erythematous mucinosis
Extensive or generalised mucinoses include:
- Reticular erythematous mucinosis
- Follicular mucinosis
- Cutaneous lupus mucinosis
- Myxoedema associated with thyroid disease
Localised mucinoses include:
- Lichen myxoedematosus (papular mucinosis)
- Mucinous naevus
- Myxoid or digital mucous cyst
Cutaneous focal mucinosis
A harmless lesion less than 1cm in diameter that can be removed by surgical excision if warranted.
A benign tumour that can arise singly or in numbers. Multiple lesions may indicate Carney's complex in which the benign tumors may develop in the heart.
Deposits of mucin also occur as a result of other skin disorders (secondary mucinoses).
- Rebora A and Rongioletti F. Mucinoses in: Bolognia J. L., Jorizzo J. L., Rapini R. P., et al. Dermatology, 2003, Elsevier
- Freedberg, IM et al. Fitzpatrick’s Dermatology in General Medicine, 2003. Sixth Edition. McGraw-Hill
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