What is a dermatofibroma?

A dermatofibroma is a common skin tumour that occurs especially on the legs. It is an unsightly, sometimes tender, lump on the skin.  Generally it is a raised papule or nodule 0.5-3.0cm in diameter. Dermatofibromas are usually single lesions but very occasionally may be multiple and are usually situated on the limbs.  They are more common in women than men.

dermatofibroma image

What causes a dermatofibroma?

This is not fully understood.  It is thought that it is a reactive skin tumour that seems to occur after a minor injury to the skin such as an insect bite or prick from a thorn.


What does a dermatofibroma look like?

 These are small, usually 1cm papules.

They can be pink or brown in colour.

There are most common on the lower limbs or upper arms.


Are Dermatofibromas hereditary?



What are the symptoms of a dermatofibroma?

They are usually asymptomatic but can occasionally itch or hurt when knocked.  One of the problems patients complain of is bleeding when shaving.


How are dermatofibromas treated?

They can be surgically removed but the patient will be left with a scar.  They occur predominantly on the lower limbs which can be an area where poor healing occurs, despite excellent technique.


What should I do?

Any new pigmented lesion should be checked by your doctor. After that if it is a dermatofibroma either leave it alone, or swap a lump for a scar.   If you have concerns, contact us for a consultation.


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