What is a dermatofibroma?
A dermatofibroma is a slowly-growing, round to oval, brownish to purple, firm skin growth that is usually dome-shaped, but may be depressed below the ski surface. The most common locations are the legs and arms. Dermatofibromas contain scar tissue.
What causes a dermatofibroma?
Trauma or old insect bites cause some dermatofibromas. In other cases, the cause is unknown.
Many dermatologists recommend that dermatofibromas be ignored since they are harmless. However, if removal is desired, this can be accomplished surgically. Unfortunately, when on the leg, the resulting scar may look as undesirable as the original growth.
One alternative is simply to flatten the dermatofibroma. This can be accomplished by freezing it with liquid nitrogen. This technique destroys only the upper part of the growth. The remaining lower part may therefore regrow after several years. Usually any regrowth is slight and can be handled by another freezing.
What if the growth begins to change?
If there is any unusual change or marked regrowth of a dermatofibroma, please return for re-examination.