January 9, 2015 | 0

Dermatofibroma is a skin condition marked by anomalous non-malignantgrowths, especially on the legs. It may affect just the upper skin layers or also occur in the deeper layers like the dermis. Dermatofibromais also known as sclerosing hemangioma.

The abnormal dermatofibroma growths are primarily made up of fibrous tissues; the dermis layer of affected skin is replete with dendritic histiocyte cells. The condition is regarded by many medical experts as a type of urticaria, which is another skin disorder caused by infections.

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Most patients suffer from a single, benign dermatofibroma tumor. It is very small, firm, and circular, and looks like a bulbous, protruding bump. It may feature a brown or purple hue and consist of scar tissue. It is also possible for the growths to occur in groups or clusters.

Dermatofibroma growths are not dangerous and require no treatment. Patients may surgically get it removed for cosmetic reasons. It may also be noted that abnormal tumors on the skin can be cancerous. It is therefore important for individuals with skin growths to consult a doctor and get them diagnosed as benign dermatofibroma, before choosing to not treat it.


Some of the common signs and symptoms of dermatofibroma are as follows:

  • Dermatofibroma growths are very different in appearance as compared to other such skin abnormalities.
  • Almost all of them elicit itchiness and sensitivity.
  • They tend to bleed when scratched aggressively. When pinched, they tend to shift inwards.
  • Dermatofibroma growths may not be painful. However, they may exhibit irritation and tenderness a few months down the line, eventually causing pain.
  • They tend to occur in varied sizes. They may be as tiny as a kidney pea or as large as a BB pellet.
  • Dermatofibroma may occur as a solitary abnormal bulb on skin. Sometimes, it may form in clusters.
  • The skin areas around the dermatofibroma growths become patchy and elicit grayish, pink, reddish, brown, or purplish shades. It is also possible for these abnormal blotches to change colors with time.
  • In most cases, the lower part of the legs typically develop dermatofibroma growths. On occasions, the torso and arms may also get affected.


The main cause of dermatofibroma is as yet unknown. The atypical growth associated with dermatofibroma may initially occur as a hard, circular papule, but can later alter in size and become tender.

The following risk factors are associated with dermatofibroma:

  • Women are more vulnerable to developing dermatofibroma skin growths than men.
  • People with a family history of the skin condition are at greater risk; meaning that genetic anomalies play a role in dermatofibroma development.
  • People of all age groups can develop dermatofibroma. It is however uncommon in children and more prevalent in middle-aged people and the elderly.
  • Minor injuries can trigger a growth of dermatofibroma. Even an insect bite can increase the risk.

Treatment of dermatofibroma

Dermatofibroma is not a deadly cancerous condition. The tumors are benign and treatment is usually not needed.But affected people need to get them checked. Anyodd growth on the skin which is black or darkish, or which exhibits a change in shape, color, or size, has to be looked at by a physician. Diagnosis is of paramount importance if a skin growth bleeds or causes severe pain.

Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans/DFSP is a type of skin cancer which appears like dermatofibroma in the early stages. The cancer can easily metastasize. This is another reason for patients to diagnose any dermatofibroma-like growths on the skin, at the earliest.

Most of the normal diagnostic tests cannot offer a conclusive result. Doctors therefore opt for a biopsy to confirm the occurrence of benign dermatofibroma and rule out the presence of any kind of malignant growth.

Dermatofibroma growths can be cosmetically disfiguring; hence some patients may opt for surgical excision of such skin anomalies. Patients may also treat the condition if it is perennially itchy or painful. Sometimes, it may form on an unusual part of the body and cause discomfort. For example, it may form on the face and cause problems when shaving, or it may develop on the neck, constantly rub against a shirt collar, and cause irritation. Dermatofibroma may be surgically removed in such cases as well.

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Dermatofibroma growths are commonly treated in the below listed ways:

  • Surgery is one of the most common methods of removing dermatofibroma skin defects. As mentioned earlier, dermatofibroma can affect the deeper parts of the skin as well. Hence, surgery in such cases can cause scars.
  • Surgeons may make use of specialized medical equipment to scrape off the top part of dermatofibroma. This method does not cause scars.
  • Cryosurgery is a process wherein the topmost section of dermatofibroma is frozen and destroyed using liquid nitrogen. This also does not result in scarring.
  • ¬†The cost of the surgery may vary from doctor and a consultation fee of $70 to $90 may applied to the surgery.

It may however be noted that in the latter two treatment options, dermatofibroma which occurs in the deeper layers of the skin does not get destroyed. Hence, there is a greater risk of a reoccurrence. Patients may then need to undergo another surgery to remove the new growth.

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