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Skin Growths - Causes, Types, Features, Diagnosis and Treatment

Published on May 20, 2022   -  5 min read


Human skin is subject to various benign growths. This article provides a compilation of the common benign skin growths, their causes, features, and treatment.


What Are Skin Growths?

With time, skin changes happen due to increasing age and exposure to environmental stressors, health problems, and trauma or injury, resulting in skin growths. Skin growths are either congenital or develop later and may vary in size and color. The two common skin growths are freckles and moles. When the skin growth is controlled and the cells do not spread to other body parts, it is called non-cancerous or benign, but when it is uncontrolled, it becomes cancerous or malignant. These malignant skin growths require medical attention. Conversely, benign skin growths often cause cosmetic problems.

What Causes Skin Growths?

The exact cause of skin growth is still unknown. However, some skin growths may occur due to:

How Are Skin Growths Diagnosed?

Diagnosis is made on:

What Are the Various Types of Skin Growths, Their Features, and Treatment?

The different types of skin growths are listed below:

1. Dermoid Cyst:

2. Dermatofibroma:

3. Freckles or Ephelides

4. Keloids

5. Lipomas

6. Moles or Nevi

7. Atypical Moles (Dysplastic Nevi)

8. Pyogenic Granulomas

9. Seborrheic Keratoses

10. Skin Tags or Acrochordon

11. Lentigines (Liver Spots)

12. Cherry Angioma

13. Milia


Skin growths cause more cosmetic concerns than anything else. Most of them are benign and harmless, but some benign growths indicate underlying systemic diseases. Most benign growths do not require specific treatment unless they produce any symptoms. A skin biopsy may be helpful to evaluate the growths that have changed or display characteristics of cutaneous malignancy.


Frequently Asked Questions


How Are Skin Growths Classified?

Skin growth refers to a lump on the skin that develops due to systemic diseases, environmental factors, and genetic changes. The various types of skin growth are listed down:

- Moles are flat, raised, or round clusters of pigment-producing cells in the skin.

- Freckles are dark-colored spots on the skin.

- A dermoid cyst is a benign sac-like growth in the skin.

- Dermatofibroma is round, brownish nodules on the skin.

- Keloids refer to the thick and fibrous scars on the skin.

- Lipoma is a freely movable lump that occurs due to fat deposition under the skin.

- Skin tags refer to skin-colored or brown-colored skin growth that primarily develops on the neck, groin area, and axilla.

- Lentigines are hyperpigmented patches similar to moles.

- Milia are white or yellow bumps that are asymptomatic.


How Does a Keratosis Appear?

Keratosis is benign skin growth. It most commonly occurs on the arms, back, chest, and other areas. They may appear round, oval, white, brown, or tan. These lesions more commonly affect middle or old-aged individuals. The skin’s outer layer, called the epidermis, is mainly made up of keratinocyte cells. Certain factors may cause increased growth of these keratinocytes leading to keratosis. These appear wart-like and are benign (non-cancerous) in nature. Therefore, keratosis is not of significant concern but requires treatment for cosmetic reasons.


How Are Benign Growths on the Skin Caused?

The exact cause of benign growth on the skin is unknown. However, the below-listed factors may increase their risk:

- Systemic disease - Skin growth like warts may develop due to underlying systemic disorders.

- Viruses.

- Genetic changes.

- Environmental factors like increased sun exposure, temperature changes, etc., have a significant role in developing skin growth.


How Does Stage 1 Melanoma Appear?

Melanoma is a severe skin cancer that rapidly spreads to other body parts. Factors like increased sun exposure, immunosuppression, fair skin, and family history may increase its risk. The typical sign of melanoma are as follows:

- Asymmetrical mole.

- Increasing mole size.

- Irregular border.

- Change in mole color.

During stage 1, the skin lesion is small and 1 mm thick, and it may not spread to nearby lymph nodes or tissues.


How to Treat Growths on Your Face?

Most skin growths are benign and are commonly treated for cosmetic purposes. However, the dermatologist suggests the following treatments to get rid of unusual growth on the face:

- Electrosurgery - The doctor uses a high-frequency electric current to remove the skin growth.

- Cryotherapy - The dermatologist uses an instrument or device to freeze the abnormal skin growth to destroy it.

- Laser Surgery - It aids in removing skin tags and may clear the wrinkles and pigmentation in the face.


What Are Skin’s Growth Factors?

The cells in the upper (epidermis) and middle (dermis) layer of the skin secrete a protein called growth factors. These growth factors are essential in repairing damaged skin and provide fitness and elasticity to the skin. Unfortunately, the aged skin contains a decreased level of growth factors leading to wrinkles and fine lines on the skin. Therefore, the dermatologist may recommend using skin care products that consist of high amounts of stable growth factors. These products may aid in skin rejuvenation.


How to Cure Skin Growth on My Eyelids?

Skin growth is more common in folded areas like armpits, groin, etc. It may also develop on the eyelids due to increased age, hormonal changes, or other factors. However, the skin growth on the eyelid may not cause any symptoms. In addition, consult a dermatologist to get the best advice on treating skin growth on eyelids. The following options are indulged in treating skin growth on eyelids:

- Cryotherapy - The skin growth is frozen and removed using liquid nitrogen or other compounds.

- Excision - The dermatologist uses sterile scissors to cut off the skin growth.

- Electrosurgery - The dermatologist uses an instrument to deliver an electric current that removes the skin growth and controls the bleeding.


How Does Benign Skin Growth Appear?

The characteristics of benign skin growth depends on its type. It includes:

Moles appear flat or raised black.

- Keloids look thick-like fibrous scars.

- Dermatofibroma lesions appear with red-purplish bumps mostly over the arms, back, and legs.

- The pyogenic granuloma may occur after an injury, and it bleeds easily. It appears as tiny, red, and raised bumps.


When Should I Consult a Doctor for Skin Growth?

Benign skin growths are harmless but may appear unpleasant. However, it is essential to visit a dermatologist for the correct diagnosis and treatment of such skin growth. The following skin changes require immediate medical attention:

- Change in mole size, color, and shape.

- Itching and pain.

- Larger skin growth.

- Skin discoloration.

- Bleeding.


What Are Precancerous Skin Growths Called?

Precancerous skin growth has a high risk of developing into cancer. It is usually considered a warning sign, including actinic keratosis, actinic cheilitis, Bowen’s disease, etc. These lesions require immediate treatment to prevent their progression into squamous cell and basal cell carcinoma. The factors that elevate their progression are ultraviolet radiation, viral infection, genetic conditions, and associated family history. The dermatologist may suggest sunscreen cream, medications, and surgical treatment like cryosurgery if necessary to reduce its progression.

Last reviewed at:
20 May 2022  -  5 min read




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