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(Benign Fibrous Histiocytomas)

By Denise M. Aaron, MD, Assistant Professor of Surgery; Staff Physician, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center; Veterans Administration Medical Center, White River Junction

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Dermatofibromas are firm, red-to-brown, small papules or nodules composed of fibroblastic tissue. They usually occur on the thighs or legs but can occur anywhere.

Dermatofibromas are common among adults, more so in women. Their cause is probably genetic. Lesions are usually 0.5 to 1 cm in diameter, firm, and may dimple inward with gentle pinching. Most lesions are asymptomatic, but some itch or ulcerate after minor trauma.

Diagnosis of dermatofibromas can often be made clinically. Lesions are sometimes biopsied to exclude melanocytic proliferation (eg, nevus, solar lentigo, melanoma) or other tumors.


  • Excision if troublesome

Dermatofibromas that cause troublesome symptoms can be excised.

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