Elephantiasis nostras

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Elephantiasis nostras

Elephantiasis nostras is a cutaneous condition, a final hypertrophic fibrosis following longstanding chronic lymphangitis.[1]: 261 

Symptoms and signs

Elephantiasis nostras

The disease usually affects the lower legs or scrotum.[2]

The swelling is accompanied by rough nodules or wart-like plaques on the skin. If the disease is not treated, it eventually results in pain and immobility.[3]


Although elephantiasis nostras resembles the elephantiasis caused by helminths, it is not a filarial disease. Instead, it is a complication of chronic lymphedema.[2] Both elephantiasis nostras and filarial elephantiasis are characterized by impaired lymphatic drainage, which results in excess fluid accumulation.[3]


Treatment consists of antibiotics, elevation of the affected limb, and compression. For persons with elephantiasis nostras who are overweight or obese, weight loss is recommended.[3] Oral retinoids have been used to treat the cutaneous manifestations of the disease.[2]

See also


  1. James, William D.; Berger, Timothy G.; et al. (2006). Andrews' Diseases of the Skin: clinical Dermatology. Saunders Elsevier. ISBN 978-0-7216-2921-6.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Lin P, Phillips T. "Vascular Disorders: Ulcers." (2003). In Bolognia JL, Jorizzo JL, Rapini RP (Eds.), Dermatology, p. 1637. Mosby ISBN 0-323-02409-2
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Scheinfeld NS. (2009). "Skin Disorders in Older Adults: Vascular, Lymphatic, and Purpuric Dermatitides, Part 2 Archived 2012-09-24 at the Wayback Machine". Consultant 49 (7)