Merkel cell tumor masquerading as granulation tissue on a teenager's toe

Am J Dermatopathol. 1992 Dec;14(6):560-3. doi: 10.1097/00000372-199212000-00015.


Merkel cell tumor (MCT) typically occurs on the head or neck of elderly patients. A case is presented of a teenage girl with an MCT on her toe. The diagnosis was made 5 years after an ingrown nail on the toe was avulsed. During the interim 5 years, the periungual skin looked like granulation tissue and thus no biopsy was performed. This case of MCT is unique in three aspects: (a) extraordinarily young age, (b) atypical site, and (c) deceptive clinical appearance. Awareness of the possible occurrence of MCT in younger patients and in unusual locations will facilitate earlier diagnosis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Carcinoma, Merkel Cell / diagnosis
  • Carcinoma, Merkel Cell / pathology*
  • Diagnostic Errors
  • Female
  • Granulation Tissue / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Nails, Ingrown / surgery
  • Skin Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Toes