Elephantiasis nostras verrucosa successfully treated by surgical debridement

Dermatol Surg. 2004 Jun;30(6):939-41. doi: 10.1111/j.1524-4725.2004.30267.x.


Background: 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.

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

Methods: 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.

Results: 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.

Conclusions: 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.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Debridement
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Elephantiasis / diagnosis
  • Elephantiasis / pathology
  • Elephantiasis / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Laser Therapy
  • Leg Dermatoses / diagnosis
  • Leg Dermatoses / pathology
  • Leg Dermatoses / surgery*
  • Male
  • Poliomyelitis*