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A non-cancerous skin tumor, also known as fibrous histiocytoma, appear most commonly on the face, neck and lower legs as reddish-brown bumps. Usually, only one or two small soft tissue bumps will develop, although bumps may arise in clusters and occur most often in women. Dermatologists provide no suggestions for prevention because the cause is unknown. They appear as pink, gray, red or brown in color and can change color over the years. These nodules feel like pebbles beneath the skin, rarely grow larger than a half-inch in diameter and develop slowly over time. They are most often painless but can at times be tender and become itchy, especially if they are in an obscure and inconvenient location where they are easily irritated. They are common in adults and rarely develop on children.
With any new skin formation, it is advised to see your dermatologist. When the bump is squeezed, it will dimple, indicating to the doctor that the bump originates deeper in the fatty tissue. Dermatofibroma is non-life threatening, but surgery can be performed for cosmetic or comfort concerns. The excising of a nodule requires the dermatologist to go below the surface level of the skin and can leave behind a noticeable scar. Alternatively, a surgical knife can be used to remove the surface of the dermatofibroma, but because this doesn’t remove the deep layers, the nodules have a tendency to grow back. Cryosurgery, the application of extreme cold to destroy tissue, can be performed or if the bump resides deeper it can be cut off while the patient is under anesthesia.
Dr. Rokhsar is a fellowship trained cosmetic and dermatologic surgeon who strives for minimal scars in any kind of surgery including removal of dermatofibroma.