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Digital Fibrokeratoma is a rare, benign tumor of cells called fibroblasts. The tumor generally occurs on a finger or toe, as a painless mass, and is completely curable through surgical excision.

What are the other Names for this Condition? (Also known as/Synonyms)

  • Acquired Digital Fibrokeratoma (ADFK)
  • Periungual Fibroma
  • Subungual Fibroma

What is Digital Fibrokeratoma? (Definition/Background Information)

  • Digital Fibrokeratoma is a rare benign tumor of cells called fibroblasts
  • The tumor generally occurs on a finger or toe, as a painless mass, and is curable through surgical excision

Who gets Digital Fibrokeratoma? (Age and Sex Distribution)

  • Digital Fibrokeratoma occurs in both males and females. The frequency of occurrence is higher in males compared to females
  • The tumor usually occurs in middle-aged individuals
  • No racial or geographical predisposition is noted

What are the Risk Factors for Digital Fibrokeratoma? (Predisposing Factors)

The risk factor for Digital Fibrokeratoma includes:

  • Over 50% of individuals who have been diagnosed with tuberous sclerosis (a group of genetic disorders affecting multiple organs) are known to present Digital Fibrokeratoma

It is important to note that having a risk factor does not mean that one will get the condition. A risk factor increases ones chances of getting a condition compared to an individual without the risk factors. Some risk factors are more important than others.

Also, not having a risk factor does not mean that an individual will not get the condition. It is always important to discuss the effect of risk factors with your healthcare provider.

What are the Causes of Digital Fibrokeratoma? (Etiology)

The exact cause of Digital Fibrokeratoma development is presently unknown.

  • Research studies have shown that genetic mutation in chromosome 9 and chromosome 16 are involved in the development of the tumor
  • Both chromosomes 9 and 16 have also been reported to be mutated in tuberous sclerosis. Hence, Digital Fibrokeratoma and tuberous sclerosis frequently occur together

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Digital Fibrokeratoma?

The signs and symptoms of Digital Fibrokeratoma include:

  • It is seen as a painless mass in the fingers or toes. Occasionally, the tumor may be present in the palms of the hand and soles of the foot
  • They are usually present as a single tumor measuring less than 1 cm
  • The skin over the mass may be discolored showing reddish-brown regions. As the mass gets bigger, they may become painful to touch

How is Digital Fibrokeratoma Diagnosed?

The diagnostic tests performed for Digital Fibrokeratoma may include:

  • A thorough physical examination with evaluation of medical history
  • Imaging studies of the region, if needed
  • Biopsy of the tumor: Examination of the biopsy under a microscope by a pathologist is considered to be gold standard in arriving at a conclusive diagnosis

Many clinical conditions may have similar signs and symptoms. Your healthcare provider may perform additional tests to rule out other clinical conditions to arrive at a definitive diagnosis.

What are the possible Complications of Digital Fibrokeratoma?

The complications of Digital Fibrokeratoma may include:

  • Ulceration of skin over the mass, which can result in an infection
  • Large tumors can be painful

How is Digital Fibrokeratoma Treated?

Treatment of Digital Fibrokeratoma includes:

  • Complete excision through surgery is considered curative. Once the tumor is removed, it usually does not recur
  • Follow-up visits may be advised by the healthcare provider

How can Digital Fibrokeratoma be Prevented?

Currently, there is no method to prevent the formation of Digital Fibrokeratoma.

What is the Prognosis of Digital Fibrokeratoma? (Outcomes/Resolutions)

Digital Fibrokeratoma is considered to be a benign condition. Complete excision of the tumor is normally curative and the prognosis is typically excellent.

Additional and Relevant Useful Information for Digital Fibrokeratoma:

The following DoveMed website link is a useful resource for additional information:


What are some Useful Resources for Additional Information?

American Cancer Society (ACS)
1599 Clifton Road, NE Atlanta, GA 30329-4251
Toll-Free: (800) 227-2345
TTY: (866) 228-4327
Website: http://www.cancer.org

National Cancer Institute (NCI)
U.S. National Institutes of Health
Public Inquiries Office
Building 31, Room 10A03
31 Center Drive, MSC 8322 Bethesda, MD 20892-2580
Phone: (301) 435-3848
Toll-Free: (800) 422-6237
TTY: (800) 332-8615
Email: cancergovstaff@mail.nih.gov
Website: http://www.cancer.gov

References and Information Sources used for the Article:

http://dermatology.cdlib.org/1501/case_presentations/fibrokeratoma/park.html (accessed on 06/17/2013)

http://www.aocd.org/skin/dermatologic_diseases/acquired_digital_fibrokeratoma.html (accessed on 06/17/2013)

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3120001/ (accessed on 06/17/2013)

Helpful Peer-Reviewed Medical Articles:

Kint, A., Baran, R., & De Keyser, H. (1985). Acquired (digital) fibrokeratoma. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 12(5), 816-821.

Kint, A., & Baran, R. (1988). Histopathologic study of Koenen tumors: Are they different from acquired digital fibrokeratoma?. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 18(2), 369-372.

Hare, P. J., & Smith, P. A. J. (1969). Acquired (digital) fibrokeratoma. British Journal of Dermatology, 81(9), 667-670.

Kakurai, M., Yamada, T., Kiyosawa, T., Ohtsuki, M., & Nakagawa, H. (2003). Giant acquired digital fibrokeratoma. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 48(5), S67-S68.

Altman, D. A., Griner, J. M., & Faria, D. T. (1994). Acquired digital fibrokeratoma. Cutis, 54(2), 93-94.

Vinson, R. P., & Angeloni, V. L. (1995). Acquired digital fibrokeratoma. American family physician, 52(5), 1365-1367.

LoBuono, P., Jothikumar, T., & Kornblee, L. (1979). Acquired digital fibrokeratoma. Cutis, 24(1), 50-51.

Hemric, J. R., & Allen, H. B. (1979). Acquired digital fibrokeratoma. Cutis, 23(3), 304-306.

Cahn, R. L. (1977). Acquired periungual fibrokeratoma: A rare benign tumor previously described as the garlic-clove fibroma. Archives of dermatology, 113(11), 1564-1568.