Merck Manual

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Dermatofibromas

(Benign Fibrous Histiocytomas)

By

Denise M. Aaron

, MD, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center

Last full review/revision Sep 2020
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Topic Resources

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

  • Clinical evaluation

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

Treatment

  • Excision if troublesome

Dermatofibromas that cause troublesome symptoms can be excised.

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NOTE: This is the Professional Version. CONSUMERS: Click here for the Consumer Version
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