SynopsisCodesLook ForDiagnostic PearlsDifferential Diagnosis & PitfallsBest TestsManagement PearlsTherapyReferences
Cutaneous mucoepidermoid carcinoma
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Cutaneous mucoepidermoid carcinoma

Contributors: Vivian Wong MD, PhD, Susan Burgin MD
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed


Cutaneous mucoepidermoid carcinoma is an extremely rare malignant tumor of mucus-secreting and epidermoid components of the skin. It is thought to arise de novo or from nevus sebaceus, sweat glands, or ectopic salivary glands. Clinically, cutaneous mucoepidermoid carcinoma resembles basal cell carcinoma. Most cases are diagnosed in patients of Northern European descent with a slight predilection for males and patients of older age (mean age of 63.4 years). The face is the most common site.

Cutaneous mucoepidermoid carcinoma is considered a low-grade neoplasm with limited metastatic potential. However, it is important to differentiate primary carcinoma from metastatic mucoepidermoid carcinoma originating from distant glandular structures.


C44.90 – Unspecified malignant neoplasm of skin, unspecified

254713002 – Mucoepidermoid carcinoma of skin

Look For

Subscription Required

Diagnostic Pearls

Subscription Required

Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls

  • Nodular basal cell carcinoma
  • Cutaneous adenosquamous carcinoma
  • Sebaceous hyperplasia
  • Molluscum contagiosum
  • Squamous cell carcinoma in situ (Bowen disease)
  • Trichoblastoma
  • Trichoepithelioma
  • Fibrous papule of nose
  • Common acquired nevus
  • Amelanotic melanoma
  • Lichenoid keratosis
  • Dermatofibroma
  • Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans
  • Atypical fibroxanthoma
  • Adenoid cystic carcinoma (see Adenoid cystic carcinoma of ear)
  • Merkel cell carcinoma
  • Eccrine gland carcinoma
  • Microcystic adnexal carcinoma
  • Basosquamous carcinoma of skin

Best Tests

Subscription Required

Management Pearls

Subscription Required


Subscription Required


Subscription Required

Last Reviewed:03/16/2021
Last Updated:03/21/2021
Copyright © 2024 VisualDx®. All rights reserved.
Cutaneous mucoepidermoid carcinoma
A medical illustration showing key findings of Cutaneous mucoepidermoid carcinoma
Copyright © 2024 VisualDx®. All rights reserved.