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Digital Fibrokeratoma

Last updated May 7, 2018

Approved by: Krish Tangella MD, MBA, FCAP

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 completely 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), have 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 unknown
  • Research studies have shown that genetic mutation in chromosome 9 and chromosome 16 are involved in the development of the tumor
  • Both chromosome 9 and chromosome 16 have also been reported to be mutated in tuberous sclerosis disorder. 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?

Diagnostic tests performed for Digital Fibrokeratoma include:

  • A thorough physical examination with evaluation of medical history
  • 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 from Digital Fibrokeratoma could include:

  • Ulceration of skin over the mass, which can result in 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

How can Digital Fibrokeratoma be Prevented?

Currently, there is no method to prevent Digital Fibrokeratoma occurrence.

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 prognosis is 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?

References and Information Sources used for the Article:

Helpful Peer-Reviewed Medical Articles:

Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: June 19, 2013
Last updated: May 7, 2018