Clear Cell Papulosis

Clear Cell Papulosis

Christine J. Ko, MD

Symmetrically distributed hypopigmented macules and papules are seen on the abdomen and suprapubic region of a young child. (Courtesy R. Hui, MD.)

Clear/pale cells image are seen with abundant cytoplasm in the basal and suprabasal layers of a hyperkeratotic and acanthotic epidermis. (Courtesy R. Hui, MD.)



  • Rare disorder of multiple, hypopigmented to white, flat-topped papules and macules

  • Generally on lower trunk

  • Almost always in young children, often of Asian descent

  • Histopathology characteristic, with clear/pale cells in basal layer of acanthotic epidermis



  • Clear cells may be normal component of epidermis along “milk lines,” type of glandular epithelial cell

  • Others postulate that clear cells are derived from eccrine secretory gland

    • Based on staining of clear cells with IKH-4, carcinoembryonic antigen, and CAM5.2

  • Genetic component is postulated as siblings may be affected

Jul 8, 2016 | Posted by in PATHOLOGY & LABORATORY MEDICINE | Comments Off on Clear Cell Papulosis

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