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Understanding Skin Lesions in Tuberous Sclerosis Complex

Sandeep Dhanyamraju
Medically reviewed by Chaitanya Bonda
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Sandeep Dhanyamraju
Medically reviewed by Chaitanya Bonda

Skin lesions can be like secret messages from our body. And more often than not, they tell us that something is not quite right. Regarding tuberous sclerosis complexes, these skin findings are crucial in the diagnostic puzzle. But what are these “skin findings,” and why are they important in tuberous sclerosis?

Imagine your skin is a storyteller, with each spot, bump, or patch narrating a part of your health history. In the case of TSC, these marks are like whispers, revealing the presence of this rare condition. These skin lesions can be a window into a bigger world of challenges and possibilities.

In this journey of understanding, we will examine what these skin lesions look like. You will learn why they appear and, most importantly, what they mean for people with TSC. Step by step, we will unravel the mysteries to uncover the full story of the tuberous sclerosis complex and its impact on those living with it. So, let’s embark on this educational adventure through the world of skin lesions in TSC.

Overview of Skin Lesions in Tuberous Sclerosis

Skin lesions in TSC are signposts of sorts. They help doctors diagnose the disease. TSC is a rare genetic disorder that can cause various health problems. And these skin signs play a crucial role in its identification.

Skin lesions, of course, might signify more than simply TSC issues. However, you should be aware that many skin lesions are not typical. Tuberous sclerosis causes a variety of skin lesions, including confetti and others. These skin lesions can be an early symptom of TSC, but they do not always cause major health consequences. They can, however, act as a warning indication for physicians to look into the likelihood of TSC further. It enables earlier intervention and therapy.

Understanding these skin lesions is a key step in treating TSC. It helps to ensure the best care for patients with this condition. In any case, if strange skin lesions occur, a person should see a doctor. And even if the problem does not indicate the presence of this disease, you should still find out the cause. Do not hesitate to get tested for the presence of this kind of disease.

male hand with skin lesions in tuberous sclerosis

Identifying Different Skin Lesions

Identifying different skin lesions is like recognizing the many faces of TSC. Each type of skin lesion tells its unique story about the disease. They guide physicians and families on the path to diagnosis and treatment. 

Let’s take a closer look at the features of the major skin lesion types. These can be a variety of manifestations, including shagreen patches, skin manifestations, etc, in tuberous sclerosis. You need to understand the occurrence and localization of these manifestations. Then, you will be better able to recognize them. And you will be able to see a specialist if necessary.

These signs on the skin’s surface are very important to piece together the whole picture of TSC. Then, you can provide timely help to people suffering from this complex disease. Let’s look at the distinctive features of these skin lesions to gain a deeper understanding of TSC.

Angiofibroma in Tuberous Sclerosis

Angiofibromas are small reddish bumps. You can often find them on the faces of people with this condition. These bumps on the skin may appear in childhood and become more prominent as you age. They are one of several major types of skin lesions in TSC. They may not cause physical discomfort. But they can affect a person’s appearance.

You can often notice angiofibromas on the cheeks and nose. However, tuberous sclerosis skin findings can also occur on the forehead and chin. These skin tubercles consist of blood vessels and fibrous tissue. It is why people call them “angiofibroma.”

Angiofibromas themselves are usually not painful or dangerous. But their presence can cause some people discomfort because of their appearance. Sometimes, you can have them removed or treated to improve a person’s self-esteem and overall health. Understanding angiofibromas is an important part of TSC management. You will be able to provide the best care and support for people living with the condition.

Tuberous Sclerosis Shagreen Patch

Shagreening is a unique type of skin lesion. It is often associated with tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC). These patches have a rough and textured texture. They may resemble the surface of an orange or lemon to the touch. Shagreen spots are usually larger than other skin lesions seen with TSC. They can range in size from a few centimeters to several inches.

You’ll often see these spots on your lower back. Although their color can vary, they are most often flesh-colored or light pink. Their rough texture distinguishes them from the surrounding skin.

Shagreen spots consist of compacted collagenous tissue. By themselves, they are usually painless and harmless. However, they are one of the key features of skin lesions in tuberous sclerosis. Identifying and understanding these spots is very important for early disease detection. It enables appropriate medical care and support for people with TSC.

Confetti Skin Lesions in Tuberous Sclerosis

Confetti is a rare and characteristic type of skin lesion in tuberous sclerosis (TSC). They get their name because they look like small, colorful confetti scattered over the skin. Unlike other skin lesions, such as angiofibroma tuberous sclerosis, confetti lesions look like numerous spots. These patches can come in a variety of colors. They are often white, pink, or tan. They can appear in different areas of the body.

Confetti skin lesions are common in people with TSC. They can develop at any age. Although they are usually harmless and painless, they are another clue to diagnosing TSC. Their unique appearance can help doctors identify the condition. You will be able to initiate appropriate treatment and support. Understanding the characteristics of confetti skin lesions is critical to treating TSC. Then, it will help ensure the best possible outcome for people suffering from this complex disease.

Ungual Fibromas in Tuberous Sclerosis

Ungual fibromas are small fleshy masses. They can appear under or around the nails on the hands and feet in people with TSC. These growths can vary in size and resemble warts or other skin abnormalities. Although they are usually not painful, they can cause cosmetic problems.

Ungual fibromas are a unique feature of TSC. Their presence can be an important indicator for diagnosis. They are usually hard to the touch and range from pink to reddish brown. These fibromas can affect one or more nails and grow slowly over time.

In some cases, removing the fibroma under the nail may be necessary. Doctors examine these tuberous sclerosis skin findings to see if they interfere with daily activities. Understanding and recognizing a fibroma under the nail is important for early detection of TSC. You will be able to provide appropriate medical care. You will be able to support people living with this complex condition easily.


Diagnosing and Monitoring TSC-Related Skin Problems

Diagnosing and monitoring skin lesions in tuberous sclerosis is important for proper treatment. To diagnose, doctors rely on physical examination and identification of characteristic skin lesions. These may include:

  • Hypomelanotic macules
  • Angiofibromas of the face
  • Tuberous sclerosis shagreen patch
  • And other unique markers

Sometimes, additional tests may be needed to confirm the diagnosis and assess the extent of internal organ damage. These are often genetic testing and imaging (such as MRI or CT scans). These exams help doctors make good decisions about treatment and support.

Monitoring skin problems associated with TSC is an ongoing process. Regular checkups help in monitoring any changes in the skin lesions. They help to address emerging problems promptly. Some skin lesions may require treatment. It may include topical creams, laser therapy, or surgical removal. It all depends on their type and location.

Remember that early diagnosis and surveillance are key to effective treatment. Do you or someone you know have skin problems associated with TSC? Then, you should consult a health care provider for appropriate care and advice.

the doctor examines the patient's skin

Treatment Options

Treatment of tuberous sclerosis complex often involves treating different aspects of the disease. And, of course, doctors pay attention to skin lesions in tuberous sclerosis. Treatment options for skin problems associated with TSC may depend on the specifics of the skin lesion.

  • Topical creams. Some skin lesions, such as facial angiofibroma, may respond to topical creams or ointments. These creams can help reduce redness and improve the appearance of the skin.
  • Laser therapy. Laser therapy is effective in removing the appearance of some skin lesions. It often affects confetti skin lesions, tuberous sclerosis, and some others. It targets the blood vessels within these masses. It minimizes their visibility.
  • Surgical removal. In some cases, large or bothersome skin lesions may require surgical removal. Your doctor may perform a surgical excision of the lesion. All doctors do this on an outpatient basis for your comfort.
  • Medication treatment. In some cases, oral medications may be prescribed to treat skin problems. Medications can help manage skin symptoms or discomfort.

Your doctor will determine the most appropriate treatment option. It all depends on the type and location of the skin lesions and your overall health. Regular follow-up is necessary to monitor progress and adjust the treatment plan.


In conclusion, treatment for tuberous sclerosis (TSC) and related skin problems requires timely care and support. Are you or a loved one living with TSC experiencing skin problems? Then don’t delay in taking action. Seeing a doctor is the first step to better health and wellness.

Lone Star Neurology Clinic is ready to help. Our experienced specialists specialize in TSC and its treatment. We encourage you to schedule an appointment with us today. Together, we can develop a customized plan that addresses your specific needs. We can provide the support you deserve. Your journey to a healthier and more comfortable life begins with this necessary appointment.


What are the first signs of skin lesions in tuberous sclerosis?

The first signs of skin lesions in TSC are often hypomelanotic macules. These are light-colored patches on the skin. You may also notice facial angiofibroma, small reddish bumps on the face.

How are confetti skin lesions in tuberous sclerosis diagnosed?

You can diagnose confetti skin lesions in TSC on physical examination by a healthcare provider. He recognizes the unique pattern of numerous small, multicolored spots on the skin.

Can tuberous sclerosis shagreen patches be treated or removed?

Shagreen patches in TSC are usually harmless. But your doctor may remove them surgically if they cause discomfort or cosmetic problems. Treatment is based on individual needs and preferences.

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Edward Medina
Edward Medina
15:34 30 Jun 22
Just such an amazing staff that makes you feel like part of their family. I’ve been going there for over 5 years now... and each visit I get the very best care and treatments that I have ever received in the 20+ years that I’ve been dealing with severe debilitating migraines. Since i started seeing them the number of my migraines has dropped from 15-20 a month to 2-3 every 3 month. I highly recommend them …they will change your life!read more
Daneisha Johnson
Daneisha Johnson
22:20 19 May 22
Dr. Askari was very kind and explained everything so I could understand. The other staff were nice as well. I would... have gave 5 stars but I was a little taken aback when I checked in and had to pay 600.00 upfront. I think that should have been discussed in a appointment confirmation call or email just so I could have been more
Jean Cooper
Jean Cooper
16:54 29 Apr 22
I love the office staff they are friendly and very helpful. Dr. JODIE is very caring and understanding to your needs... and wants to help you. I will go back. would recommend Dr. Dr. Jodie to other Patients in a heart beat. The team works well more
Linda M
Linda M
19:40 02 Apr 22
I was obviously stressed, needing to see a neurologist. The staff was so patient and Dr. Ansari was so kind. At one... point he told me to relax, we have time, when I was relaying my history of my condition. That helped ease my stress. I have seen 3 other neurologists and he was the only one who performed any assessment tests on my cognitive and physical skills. At one point I couldn't complete two assessments and got upset and cried. I was told, it's OK. That's why you're here. I was truly impressed, and super pleased with the whole experience!read more
Leslie Durham
Leslie Durham
15:05 01 Apr 22
I've been coming here for about 5 years. The staff are ALWAYS friendly and knowledgeable. The Doctors are the absolute... best!! Jodie Moore is always in such a great mood which is a plus when you are already stressed. Highly recommendedread more
Monica Del Bosque
Monica Del Bosque
14:13 25 Mar 22
Since my first post my thoughts have changed here. It's unfortunate. My doctor and PA were great, but the office staff... is horrible. They never call you back when they say they will, they misinform you, they cause you too much stress wondering what's going on, they don't keep you posted. They never answer the phone. At this point I've left four messages in the last week, and I have sent three messages. Twice from their portal and one direct email. No response. My appointment is on Monday morning at 8:30am, no confirmation on my insurance and what's going on. What the heck is going on, this is ridiculous!I've given up... the stress her office staff has put me through is just not worth it. You can do so much better, please clean house, either change out your office staff, or find a way for them to be more efficient please. You have to do something. This is not how you want to run your practice. It leaves a very bad impression on your more
Ron Buckholz
Ron Buckholz
23:32 23 Mar 22
I was actually pleasantly surprised with this visit! It took me a long time to get the appointment scheduled because no... one answers your phones EVER! After a month, I finally got in, and your staff was warm, friendly, and I was totally impressed! I feel like you will take care of my needs!read more
Steve Nabavi
Steve Nabavi
16:28 16 Mar 22
It was a nice visit. Happy staff doing all they can do to comfort the patients in a very calming environment. You ask... me they are earned a big gold star on the fridge. My only complaint they didn't give me any more
Katie Lewis
Katie Lewis
16:10 10 Feb 22
Had very positive appointments with Jodie and Dr. Sheth for my migraine care. Jodie was so fast with the injections and... has so much valuable info. I started to feel light headed during checkout and the staff was SO helpful—giving me a chair, water, and taking me into a private room until I felt better. Highly recommend this practice for migraine patients, they know what they’re doing!!read more
Joshua Martinez
Joshua Martinez
16:02 10 Dec 21
I was scheduled to be checked and just want to say that the staff was fantastic. They were kind and helpful. I was... asked many questions related to what was going on and not once did I feel as though I was being brushed off. The front desk staff was especially great in assisting me. I'm scheduled to go back for a mri and am glad that I'll be going more
Isabel Ivy
Isabel Ivy
21:42 03 Nov 21
I had such a good experience with Lone Star Neurology, Brent my MRI Tech was so awesome and made sure I was very... comfortable during the appointment. He gave me ear plugs, a pillow, leg support and blanket, easiest MRI ever lol 🤣 My 72 hour EEG nurse Amanda was also so awesome. She made sure I was take care of over the 3 days and took her time with the electrodes to make sure it was comfortable for me! Paige was also a huge help in answering all my questions when it came to my test results, and letting me know her honest opinions about how I should go forth with my more
Leslie Luce
Leslie Luce
17:37 20 Oct 21
The professionalism and want to help attitude of this office was present from the moment I contacted them. The follow... up and follow through as well as their willingness to find a way to schedule my dad was above and beyond. We visited two offices in the same day with the same experience. I am appreciative of this—we spend a lot of time with doctors and this was top notch start to more
robert Parker
robert Parker
16:38 16 Apr 21
I love going to this office. The staff is friendly and helpful. The doctor is great. I am getting the best... neurological tests and treatment I have ever had. The only reason I did not give them a 5 star rating is because it is impossible to reach a live person at the office to reschedule appointments. Every time I have tried to get through to the office it says all people are busy and I am sent to a voicemail. If they could get their phone answering fixed, I would give them a strong 5 more
MaryAnn Hornbaker
MaryAnn Hornbaker
00:26 25 Feb 21
Dr. Harney is an excellent Dr. I found him friendly , personable and thorough. I evidently am an unusual case. ... Therefore he spent a Hugh amount of time educating me. He even gave me literature to further explain my condition and how to follow up. This is something you rarely get from your doctors. So I am more than please with my doctor and his more
Roger Arguello
Roger Arguello
03:05 29 Jan 21
Always courteous, professional. The staff is very friendly and always work with you to find the best appointment time.... The care team has been great. Always taking the time to listen to your concerns and to find the best more
Margaret Rowland
Margaret Rowland
01:12 27 Jan 21
I have been a patient at Lone Star Neurology for several years. Now both my adult daughters also are patients there. I... love Jodie. She is always so prompt whether it is a teleamed call are a visit in the office. She takes the time to explain everything to me and answers all my questions. I am so blessed to have Jodie as my more
Susan Miller
Susan Miller
03:01 13 Jan 21
My husband had an accident 5 years ago and Lone Star Neurology has been such a blessing to us with my husbands care.... Jodie Moore is his provider and she is amazing! Jodie is very knowledgeable, caring, and thorough. She takes her time with you, making sure your needs are met and she is happy to answer any questions you may have. Lone Star Neurology’s patients are very lucky to have Jodie providing their care. Thank you Lone Star Neurology and especially Jodie for everything you have done for us. Jodie, you are the best!read more
Windalyn C
Windalyn C
01:32 09 Jan 21
Jodie is wonderful. She is very caring and knowledgeable. I have been to over a dozen neurologists, and none were able... to help me as much as they have here. Thanks!read more
Katie Kordel
Katie Kordel
00:40 09 Jan 21
Jodi Moore, nurse practitioner, is amazing. I have suffered from frequent, debilitating headaches for almost 20 years.... She has provided the best proactive and responsive care I have ever received. My quality of life has been greatly improved by her caring approach and tenacity in finding more
Ellie Natsis
Ellie Natsis
15:41 07 Jan 21
I have had the best experience at this neurologist's office! For over a year I have been receiving iv treatments here... each month and my nurse, Bobbie is beyond wonderful!! She's so attentive, knowledgeable, caring, and detail oriented. She makes an otherwise uncomfortable experience much more pleasant and definitely puts me at ease! She also helps me with my insurance,ordering this specialty medication and dealing with the ordering process which is no easy feat.Needless to say, she goes above a beyond in every way and I'm so grateful to this office and to Bobbie for all they do for me!read more
Matt Morris
Matt Morris
15:39 07 Jan 21
Let me start by saying that I have been coming here for years. Due to my autoimmune disease, I am in this office... once every three weeks for multiple hours at a time. The office is very clean and the staff very friendly. My only complaint would be there communication via phone. They aren't the best at responding if you leave a voicemail and expect a call back. I understand that this is prob just due to the sheer number of alls they receive daily. What I can say I like the best about the office are the people. Bobby who handles my infusions is great. I never have any issues with her setting up my infusions. She is very quick to reply to messages sent via text and if she were to leave then my whole opinion of the office may change. I also enjoy people like Matt, Lauren, and Jodi. I appreciate all that they do for me and without this team I'm not sure I would be as happy as I am to visit the office as frequently as I have to. Please ensure that these folks are recognized as they are what makes my visit to this office so tolerable :).read more
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