What is Dermatofibroma?

Dermatofibromas are tiny skin growths that develop anywhere on the skin. These growths are mostly non-cancerous. Although these growths can grow anywhere, they are common on the legs, upper back and upper arms. These small bumps are mainly found in adults. There are some few cases in children too. Dermatofibroma can be gray, brown, pink or red in color. These colors change as someone ages. They are quite firm, and someone might feel as if they have a stone under their skin. When someone tries to pinch the growth from the sides, the top of the dermatofibroma dimples inwards.

When these bumps develop on your skin, they can last a lifetime. When treated, they can heal and become depressed like scars after some time. Sometimes the dermatofibromas that are found grouped in significant numbers of linear clusters are seen linked with various immune diseases like HIV, leukemia and lupus.

Dermatofibroma Causes

The exact causes of this condition are still unknown, and this is because of the nature of the disease. Here are some of the possible causes.


Many people do not know that a simple injury on the skin can lead to dermatofibroma. A minor prick from a thorn can trigger the condition.

Insect bites

An insect bite can result in growth on your skin. The bump will grow on the affected area.


Everyone can get dermatofibroma, but women are more prone to the condition.


This condition can affect anyone regardless of their age, but middle-aged adults are more likely to get it. The condition is rare in children.


Although this is debated a lot in the medical community, research shows that dermatofibroma is hereditary.

Pictures of Dermatofibroma

How does dermatofibroma look like?

dermatofibromaPicture 1 – Dermatofibroma on hand

dermatofibroma picturesPicture 2 – Dermatofibroma on leg

dermatofibroma pictures 2

dermatofibroma pictures 3Picture 4 – Dermatofibroma on back

Dermatofibroma Symptoms

Here are some of the most common symptoms of dermatofibroma:

  • Dermatofibroma can develop everywhere, but they mostly found in the lower legs, trunk and arms.
  • They appear raised above the skin, and when damaged, they bleed.
  • They have different sizes. Some can be as tiny as a pellet while other can be as big as your fingernails.
  • When pinched, they dimple inwards.
  • For individuals who have dark skin, the growth appears darker.
  • The color of the bumps changes as one continues to age.
  • The affected parts of the skin appear to be brown, gray, pink, purplish or red in color.
  • These growths are mostly painless. However, they can be itchy tender and painful sometimes.
  • They grow and develop in several months.
  • They have a shiny, scaly and dull surface.


If you notice any type of bump on your skin, the first thing to do is visit your doctor for examination. It is not possible to determine the cause of the growth by yourself. The doctor will be able to give a diagnosis by looking at the growth. The doctor will squeeze the skin around the growth. When squeezing, a dimple will form, and he or she will rule out the possibility of other diseases.

  • If the doctor has any doubts after examining the growth, they will surgically remove the lump. A microscope will examine the tissues from the bump to get the right diagnosis.
  • Not all growths in the skin are dermatofibroma. Your doctor is the only person who can give the proper diagnosis. If you have any lesion that changes its color or is brown and dark black, visit your doctor immediately. You should also be worried if the bump is bleeding, growing too fast or becomes painful.

Dermatofibroma Treatment and Removal

If the doctor determines that you have this condition, it is best to ignore it. However, in cases where the doctor is uncertain, a piece of the growth should be removed for examination.

  • Sometimes, dermatofibromas can become irritating especially when dressing or shaving. In these cases, your doctor might consider removing them. Dermatofibromas can be removed in two ways. Surgery or freezing. Removing the growths through surgery leaves deep scars on the skin.
  • Freezing is a better option because it’s only the upper part of the growth that is removed.
  • There are several medical treatments such as steroid injections to relieve the patient of itchiness and pain. These medications are also very efficient in controlling the growth of the lump.
  • The patient can also decide to shave the skin. This is done by removing the growth superficially using a surgical knife. This process is however not suitable because it encourages the reoccurrences of the bumps. This is because the lesions are not removed from their roots.
  • Cryosurgery: this procedure involves exposing the bumps to extremely cold temperatures. This too is not recommended because it encourages the reoccurrence of the bumps.
  • Laser treatment is an effective method to get rid of dermatofibroma. The procedure uses carbon dioxide, and it removes the skin growth from the roots.

Home Remedies

Skin growths can be annoying especially when they grow at bad places on your body. Apart from surgical and medical treatments, this condition can be treated using simple home remedies. Here are some tips to help:

  • Spirit of camphor can help treat this condition. Apply a small amount to the affected area until the skin has dried up. This procedure can cause the skin to sting.
  • Milk of magnesia can also be used. The solution should be applied to the growth and left for ten minutes before rinsing.
  • A change of diet can also help manage the condition. A diet rich in high fiber and low in fat is recommended. Fruits and vegetables will also help the individual to improve the texture of the skin.
  • A cellulite cream can also be used. This is because they improve the appearance of growth.
  • Benzotn solution can be used too. The solution should be mixed with water then used to wash the affected area. This will help prevent any infection on the growth.
  • The patient should avoid going out in the sun especially from 10 am to 4 pm when the sun is too hot. Exposure to the sun might worsen the dermatofibroma or even trigger a malignancy.


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