What is a fibroma?

A fibroma is a benign, tumor-like growth made up mostly of fibrous or connective tissue. Tumor-like growths such as fibroma develop when uncontrolled cell growth occurs for an unknown reason, or as a result of injury or local irritation. Fibromas can form anywhere in the body and usually do not require treatment or removal.

Fibromas can occur in people of any age and either sex, but they are most often seen in adults. The most common types of fibroma include angiofibromas (small papules across the nose and cheeks that contain fibrous tissue), dermatofibromas (benign skin growths), oral fibromas, and plantar fibromas (in the arch of the foot, especially in children). This article will focus on dermatofibromas (skin fibromas) and plantar (foot) fibromas.

Dermatofibromas are round growths, commonly found on the legs, that can range in color from flesh-colored to red-purple. They feel like hard lumps under the skin. Dermatofibromas are harmless and only rarely malignant, so they are best left alone.

A plantar fibroma is a nodule, or fibrous knot, embedded in the plantar fascia in the arch of the foot. The plantar fascia is a band of tissue that supports muscle and extends along the bottom of the foot from the heel to toes. Like dermatofibromas, plantar fibromas are typically benign, or nonmalignant. Primary treatment options are nonsurgical and are aimed at relieving pain while walking. Treatment options include steroid injections, orthotic devices, and physical therapy. If you continue to experience pain after trying these approaches, if the mass increases in size, or if your pain increases, surgical treatment is an option.

Neither dermatofibroma nor plantar fibroma is serious or life threatening. Seek prompt medical care for a fibroma that is persistent or causes you concern.

SYMPTOMS

What are the symptoms of a fibroma?

The main symptom of a dermatofibroma is the presence of a small growth that may or may not be tender. It may be itchy or sensitive to the touch, and the color may change over time. Because it has a raised surface, it can be irritated by clothing or shaving and may bleed if it is damaged.

The main symptom of plantar fibroma is a lump in the arch of the foot that is firm to the touc... Read more about fibromasymptoms

CAUSES

What causes a fibroma?

The causes of dermatofibroma and plantar fibroma are not known. Some researchers believe that dermatofibromas may form as a localized tissue reaction following a minor injury. Plantar fibroma may have a genetic component, particularly in people of northern European descent. Some medications, including beta-blockers, have been reported to cause changes in fibrotic tissue.

What ... Read more about fibromacauses

TREATMENTS

How is a fibroma treated?

Dermatofibromas are harmless, and treatment is not required unless there are disturbing symptoms or cosmetic concerns. Surgical treatment is an option if you wish to have your dermatofibroma removed. Be aware, the scarring and tissue changes that occur following surgical excision may look worse than the original bump.

For plantar fibroma, nonsurgical options are preferred because ... Read more about fibromatreatments

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Annual Review Date: Aug 9, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Skin, Hair and Nails


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