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Dermatol Surg. 2004 Jun;30(6):939-41.

Elephantiasis nostras verrucosa successfully treated by surgical debridement.

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Department of Dermatology, Hokkaido University Graduate School of Medicine, Sapporo, Japan.



Elephantiasis nostras verrucosa represents a rare group of cutaneous changes comprising dermal fibrosis, hyperkeratotic, verrucous, and papillomatous lesions after chronic secondary, nonfilarial lymphedema. There is no standard treatment for this rare cutaneous manifestation.


This article describes debridement that is helpful when performed in addition to physiotherapy.


We present a patient who was treated by shaving the verrucous area with a blade of a freehand knife and by subsequent abrading of the mossy area using a motor-powered grinder.


Reepithelization was completed in 2 weeks. A compression stocking was used to treat the lymphedema. Ten months after the operation, we saw no signs of disease recurrence. The result was also aesthetically satisfactory.


Surgery in such case may not always be the best treatment because it does not treat the cause of disease but only treats the cutaneous symptoms. Nevertheless, debridement is a rapid and an aesthetically acceptable form of treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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