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Keratoacanthoma has been linked with a number of aetiological agents:

  • sun exposure
  • chemical carcinogens e.g. hydrocarbons:
    • pitch
    • tar
    • smoking: higher incidence in smokers
  • mechanical trauma, possibly in skin 'primed' eg. by chronic irritation from eczema or seborrhoeic dermatitis
  • genetic:
    • familial clustering but may be a result of exposure to similar environmental factors
    • case reports of unilateral familial clustering
  • virus:
    • human papillomavirus frequently isolated
    • however, some tumours have no demonstrable viral presence
  • immunodeficiency:
    • weak association
    • multiple lesions

Last reviewed 01/2018