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Types of Benign Skin Growths
There are a variety of benign skin growth types but the most common include:
- Seborrheic Kerasotes – More common in middle-aged and older people, Seborrheic Kerasotes are flesh-colored, brown, or black growths with a round or oval shape. Often confused with moles, this type of skin growth usually has a warty or “pasted on” appearance, making it seem as though it could be peeled right off.
- Sebaceous Hyperplasia – More common in men and in patients with organ transplants, Sebaceous Hyperplasia is a benign enlargement of sebaceous glands surrounding a follicle. Characterized by small flesh-colored to yellow papules, often with a central dell, this common skin condition is simply an overgrown oil gland.
- Nevus (mole) – An incredibly common skin growth, the classic appearance for a normal mole is a light brown or flesh-colored spot or bump in the skin that has uniform features including smooth borders, small size, one uniform color throughout, and does not change or shift over time.
- Cysts – Typically, occurring on the scalp, neck, face and back, a cyst is a skin-colored movable lump or bump under the skin. Many contain fluid or cottage-cheese like material and feel firm to the touch.
- Acrochordon (skin tag) – Often occurring in places where the skin rubs together, such as under the arms, neck, or between the legs (i.e., groin), skin tags are usually soft and small and feature a “stalk-like” appearance. While the lesions are usually asymptomatic, removal may be sought if they become irritating – causing a pinching or pulling sensation – or cosmetically unsightly.
Skin Growth FAQs
To put it simply, it is a mass of cells that appears as a growth on the skin. This alteration in cell growth could appear as a lesion, lump, bump, mole, skin tag, skin tumor, and any other type mentioned above.
Though benign skin growths may be an indicator of a more serious health problem, such as diabetes or an increased risk of skin cancer, they’re usually asymptomatic and don’t pose any harm to overall health. However, many patients choose to remove skin growths for aesthetic or cosmetic reasons.
While most benign skin growths require no treatment or intervention, it’s important to visit a dermatologist if any growth creates symptoms (bleeding, itching, tenderness, or pain) or discomfort (either physical or psychological), as this could be an indication of skin cancer or underlying health conditions.
When visiting a board-registered dermatologist or doctor for a skin growth evaluation, they will diagnose the lesion to determine if treatment is necessary. If concerned whether or not the skin growth is malignant or cancerous, they can order a skin biopsy to examine it more thoroughly.
With benign skin growths, board-registered dermatologists usually use three common removal techniques:
- Excision – Using surgical removal to treat the skin growth.
- Cryotherapy – Freezing off the skin growth.
- Curettage – Scraping off the skin growth.
Removal is absolutely an option for benign skin growths, especially if any growth is causing unnecessary pain, irritation, or discomfort. At The Dermatology & Skin Surgery Center of Wilmington, our board-certified dermatologists are happy to discuss and perform the removal of any unwanted spots to help you feel confident in your own skin!
While most benign skin lesions do not invade other tissues and spread to other parts of the body, it’s crucial that all skin lesions be self-monitored in addition to being examined by a board-registered dermatologist if any changes occur.