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Dermatology Online Journal

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Verrucous carcinoma presenting as recalcitrant verruca plantaris


Verrucous carcinoma (VC) is a rare, low-grade variant of well-differentiated squamous cell carcinoma. Plantar verrucous carcinoma presents as a slow-growing, exophytic, verrucous plaque on weight bearing areas of the foot. Verrucous carcinomas have low metastatic potential, but are high risk for local invasion. We describe a patient with a 20-year history of a slowly growing, ulcerated, verrucous plaque on the sole of the left foot that was erroneously treated for years as verruca plantaris and was eventually diagnosed as invasive verrucous carcinoma. Verrucous carcinomas are a diagnostic challenge due to clinical and histopathologic mimicry of benign lesions. Mohs micrographic surgery should be employed to allow the ability to intraoperatively assess tumor margins while excising the minimal amount of necessary tissue. It is important for clinicians to recognize the characteristics and accurately diagnose verrucous carcinomas. Delays in treatment may require more extensive dissection or amputation.

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