Dermatofibroma or Histiocytoma

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A dermatofibroma is also known as a histiocytoma. Basically, this is a growth that forms in the skin. The growth is usually round with a maximum size of one half inch. The color of the skin growth can vary from brown to reddish purple. Sometimes the growth may also appear pink or greyish. The colour of the histiocytoma may change over time. Some itch may accompany the skin growth and in most cases it is painless.

This type of skin growth is usually found on the legs, especially the lower portion of the legs, but can sometimes appear on the arms or trunk area of the body. Histiocytoma usually affects adults and is rare in children.

The histiocytoma feels like a solid lump under the skin. It is non-cancerous and may have formed due to minor skin trauma such as insect or bug bites, skin splinter, etc. An exact cause is not yet known.

A skin doctor or dermatologist should examine any unusual growth on the skin that changes with time and a biopsy may be performed for positive identification of the skin problem.

However, if it is histiocytoma then it can be left alone without any treatment, although it will not disappear on its own in most cases. If the histiocytoma is bothersome, it can be surgically removed, but because the growth is rather deep in the skin, a significant scar will remain. The other treatment alternative is to use liquid nitrogen freezing. This will remove the top surface of the growth and flatten it out. Over time, the growth will become more noticeable once again and additional treatments will be necessary.

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