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Author: Dr Amanda Oakley, Dermatologist, Hamilton, New Zealand, 2008.
A fibrous papule is a firm bump that most often occurs on the nose. It is very common. The fibrous papule has a characteristic appearance under the microscope.
A fibrous papule develops during late adolescence or early adult life on the nose, or less often, elsewhere on the face. It is a dome shaped shiny lesion 2-6 mm in diameter, sometimes bearing a central hair. Although it looks similar to a skin-coloured mole (dermal naevus), it is more firm in texture. It is harmless but persists unchanged lifelong.
It is important to distinguish fibrous papule from the common skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma, which may also present as a firm shiny bump. Basal cell carcinoma most often arises later in life. It slowly grows, and tends to bleed and ulcerate.
Fibrous papule is diagnosed by skin biopsy. There are distinctive features on histopathology (proliferation of fibroblasts, fibrotic stroma, and dilated blood vessels). See also clear cell fibrous papule pathology.
Fibrous papule is considered a naevus, and develops spontaneously as part of human development. The precise reason is unknown.
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