Dermatofibroma is a benign tumor of the skin which originates from the fibrous tissue.

Sinonimi: Benign histiocytoma, fibrous histiocytoma

Dermatofibrom na nozi

Dermoskopski nalaz

How does it develop?

The real reason for formation of these skin lesions is unknown. Microtrauma of the skin can be cited as one of the possible causes.

Symptoms and signs

They are usually brownish lumps in the skin, sizing from a few mm to a centimeter with a whitish center. In most cases they are painless, and in a small number of cases patients cite pain or itching in the region.The size can rarely get larger, but the intensity of the color may change over periods of time.

How is it diagnosed?

Diagnosis is easily made by clinical examination ( by eye), and dermoscopy. Biopsy is rarely needed.

How is it removed?

If it doesn’t cause any nuisance and doesn’t present an esthetical issue, it can be left untreated.

Still, if it grows, it’s important to preventively remove it, and the method of choice is an excision.

Risk factors and prevention

Repeated microtrauma to the skin is considered a risk factor (punctures, depilation, mosquito bytes…)

Risk group is considered to be women after the age of 40, because of the decrease in estrogen hormones.

Frequently asked questions

Do I need to remove it?

No, it’s not always necessary to remove dermatofibromas because they are benign skin lesions.

But, if it grows or changes, removing it for preventive reasons is advised.

Can it reappear after removal?

No, but a new one can form near the site of the old one or on other regions.

Which are the most commonly affected regions?

Usually it appears in women, on the legs.

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Synonyms: Benign histiocytomafibrosus histiocytoma

Dermatofibrom na nozi

Dermoskopski nalaz

Differential diagnosis

Dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans, Melanocytic lesions (Nevus), Dysplastic Nevus, Spitz Nevus, Blue Nevus, Keloid, Keratoacanthoma, Melanoma, Basal Cell Carcinoma, Squamous Cell Carcinoma.

Reasons for formation

Reasons for formation of dermatofibroma are still unknown. The place of skin microtrauma (from hair removal to insect bites) is still not known well enough.

Symptoms and signs

Presentation of dermatofibromas on the skin is commonly without any symptoms.

  • First thing we notice is a colored, hard lump in the skin, usually brown in color (from light to dark) with a central white.
  • The size of these lumps (nodules) iz from a few mm to 1 cm
  • Pain and itching rarely accompany it
  • Dermatofibromas do not get significantly larger with time, but they can vary in color intensity.

How is it diagnosed?

  • Digital dermoscopy renders a very certain diagnosis, as well as the ability to adequately follow it over time and make differential diagnoses.
  • In all cases of unclear diagnosis, a biopsyis applied


Complications of dermatofibroma are very rare. Specail attention should be devoted to cases that present an evolution of the lesion, i.e. if it grows, changes color or loses it’s typical appearance. Digital dermoscopy and biopsy diagnostics are advised in all of those cases.


  • No treatment – for all dermatofibromas where there is a certain diagnosis, with no symptoms or evolution (changing).
  • Excision (surgical removal), if for any reason a dermatofibroma is removed (comfort, esthetics) a radical excision is advised. A well defined scar is left after the removal.
  • Other surgical techniques (radiofrequency shave or laser treatment) are not recommended at the moment because of the very high probability for dermatofibroma to reappear.

Risk factors

Risk factors for developing dermatofibromas, at least incidence-wise are:

  • Women after the age of 40 (because of reduction in estrogen hormones)
  • Repeating microtraumas


Real prevention doesn’t exist, but based on the risk factors, kepping Your skin away from microtrauma, especially for women when waxing, can reduce the risk of developing dermatofibroma.