By Gary M. White, MD

Solitary glomus tumor

Glomus tumors (GT) are rare, benign neuromuscular tumors. They represent hamartomas derived from the glomus body, an arteriovenous shunt involved in temperature regulation. Multiple congenital glomus tumors are called glomangiomas.


A solitary, dark red or purple vascular papule in an adult is typical. Although they may occur anywhere, subungual lesions are not unusual. In that case, the nail may take on a bluish color. These lesions may be exquisitely painful to pinpoint pressure. Cold sensitivity is tested by submerging the affected hand in cold water to see if this invokes lesional pain.


No treatment needs to be done. For painful lesions, surgical excision may be done [Dermatologic Surgery 2015;487].

Additional Pictures

solitary glomus tumor


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