Fibrofolliculomas

  • One of the most common symptoms of BHD syndrome.
  • Fibrofolliculomas are benign tumours/growths in the hair follicle and appear as skin papules. They are most commonly found on the neck, upper chest, upper back, and face, and can also be found on the ear and earlobe.
  • Individuals affected by BHD syndrome can have anywhere from one to several hundred of these skin lesions over a lifetime. In affected individuals, these skin lesions normally appear in the third and fourth decade of life. The numbers and size of the fibrofolliculomas may increase with age.

    Skin fibrofolliculomas of patient with BHD. Figure 1, Menko et al, 2009.

  • Fibrofolliculomas are generally described as being slightly paler than the skin. They are raised, perhaps dome shaped. The lesions may be oval and the size of a grape seed, but are not all uniform in size. They may look a little like pimples but do not go away as pimples do. You should not be able to “pop” them like a whitehead pimple.
  • A BHD diagnosis does not necessarily imply that you will have fibrofolliculomas. Recent research has identified people with alterations in the BHD gene who do not have any fibrofolliculomas.

    Fibrofolliculomas. Courtesy of Dr Derek Lim, University of Birmingham.

  • Trichodiscomas are lesions that are the colour of skin. Many researchers think that fibrofolliculomas and trichodischomas are part of the same spectrum of condition and that they are not two different symptoms. However, if you have trichodiscomas and no other symptoms of BHD, this may be sign of another condition called familial multiple discoid fibromas (FMDF). Read more about FMDF here.
  • Although many people try to treat their fibrofolliculomas, no long-lasting method of removing them has yet been found. For treatment options currently available, see the Skin Treatment section for more details.

Examples of fibrofolliculomas on the face, neck and ears. Courtesy of the BHD Family Alliance.

 

 

Publication date: January 2012
Review date: January 2015