dermatofibromaWhat is Dermatofibroma?

Dermatofibroma is a brown bump or papule varying in size from 3-10 mm; this is noncancerous, button-like and normally occurs on legs, trunk and arms. They are also known as fibrous histiocytoma. Microscopic examination of dermatofibroma reveals that it has dense collagen. Since it is not dangerous, there is no urgency to remove them.

What causes Dermatofibroma?

The exact reasons for dermatofibroma are not known. They either occur in singles or multiples. The reasons for Dermatofibroma are insect bite, folliculitis and idiopathic skin tumors that are benigns. This is not hereditary.

What are Dermatofibroma Symptoms?

Dermatofibroma begins in red color and then turns brown; it also itches at times. The common symptoms for this are as follows:

• Lower legs are the most common place of occurrence; may also occur on trunk and arms.

• Small, firm nodule, plaque or papule.

• Can be in different colors such as red, purple, pink, brown and gray; color change is noticed over time.

• Does not grow bigger than a fingernail.

• Normally without pain; but can be painful, tender or itchy.

• If pinched, dimples inward.

How to Diagnose Dermatofibroma?

Initial diagnosis is done by the physician looking at the nodule. In case of doubt, he calls for a biopsy. In a biopsy, a sample portion of the nodule is cut and examined under a microscope for further diagnosis. The following differential diagnoses are likely:

• Primary Malignant Melanoma.

• Skin lesion or blue nevus.

• Scar.

How to treat Dermatofibroma

Since dermatofibroma does not pose any risk, it does not require any treatment. Hence, the best thing to do is to ignore its presence. People prefer to remove it due to the problems it causes for shaving or irritation from clothing.

The following methods of treatment are possible.

• Surgery – since dermatofibroma goes deep, during surgery a lot of cutting is required which might cause scarring.

• Freezing – it is possible to level the surface by freezing using liquid nitrogen.

In either of these cases, it will grow back after a few years. If there is a suspicion that the growth is due to cancer, a biopsy is a must.