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Calcified nodules of the heels
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Calcified nodules of the heels

Contributors: Drew J. Klug MD, Craig N. Burkhart MD, Dean Morrell MD, Jason E. Hawkes MD, Whitney A. High MD, JD, MEng
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed


Calcified nodules of the heel represent dystrophic calcification of the skin (calcinosis cutis) following trauma, mostly due to needle sticks during the neonatal period. Lesions occur in both normal infants and in high-risk neonates with a history of repeated heel sticks. It is believed alkaline phosphatase is released during the needle stick, leading to an altered local pH, with precipitation of calcium salts. Serum calcium and phosphate levels are normal.

Calcified nodules begin as small yellow-to-white nodules that slowly increase in size and migrate through the epidermis to the skin surface. Lesions typically appear between 4 and 12 months of age and often resolve spontaneously between 18 and 30 months. Most lesions are asymptomatic, but some may cause local irritation or pain.


L94.2 – Calcinosis cutis

255003 – Calcified nodule

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Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls

  • Subepidermal calcified nodule – Solitary white-to-yellow papule or nodule typically on the head / neck (children) and extremities (adults).
  • Common wart – Hyperkeratotic, verrucous, white-to-tan papule or plaque.
  • Epidermoid cyst – A well-circumscribed nodule with or without a central punctum.
  • Molluscum contagiosum – Small skin-colored or translucent papules with umbilication and/or a white central core.
  • Milia – Small white-to-yellow papules, typically on the cheeks and periorbital skin.
  • Cutaneous horn – Thick, columnar-like hyperkeratotic debris that arises from an actinic keratosis, verruca, squamous cell carcinoma, or keratoacanthoma.
  • Pilomatricoma (calcifying epithelioma of Malherbe) – Solitary, firm, skin-colored or bluish-appearing nodule or tumor often found upon the head / neck or upper extremities.
  • Precalcaneal congenital fibrolipomatous hamartoma

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Last Updated:01/24/2022
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Calcified nodules of the heels
A medical illustration showing key findings of Calcified nodules of the heels : Heel, Needle stick exposure, Plantar foot, Verrucous scaly papules, Firm nodules
Clinical image of Calcified nodules of the heels - imageId=1730421. Click to open in gallery.  caption: 'A shiny papule on the heel.'
A shiny papule on the heel.
Copyright © 2024 VisualDx®. All rights reserved.