Cutaneous Horn Treatment & Management

Updated: Oct 09, 2017
  • Author: Patrick S Rush, DO; Chief Editor: William D James, MD  more...
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Surgical Care

Treatment recommendation is contingent upon the type of lesion at the base. In order to rule out a malignancy, it is essential to perform a biopsy of the lesion that includes the base of the horn. In the case of benign lesions at the base of the horn, the biopsy is both diagnostic and therapeutic.

Excise malignancies with appropriate margins. Patients discovered to have horns with an underlying squamous cell carcinoma also should be evaluated for metastasis.

Local destruction with cryosurgery is first-line treatment for verruca vulgaris, actinic keratosis, and molluscum contagiosum. Benign lesions do not require any further therapy after the diagnostic biopsy.


Long-Term Monitoring

In patients with squamous cell carcinoma or basal cell carcinoma, follow-up examinations to screen for a recurrence or a new primary are recommended for the first 3 years after diagnosis. Other diagnoses require follow-up as routinely recommended for that entity.