I have a painless small raised lump on my arm. What is it?

Q. I have a painless small raised lump on my arm. What is it?

Answered by
Dr. Gaurang Gupta
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Dec 02, 2017 and last reviewed on: Oct 11, 2022

Hello doctor,

I have a small red raised lump on my arm with a slightly waxy appearance. It does not itch and has grown from nothing to approximately four to five mm in diameter in three months. Initially, it just started as a very small dot and has grown. I am attaching the pictures for your reference. Please help.



Welcome to icliniq.com.

I have seen your photos (attachments removed to protect patient identity).

It is a small reddish papule. Since how long have you had this? Is it painful?

This could be either of these.

Many other differential diagnoses are there. Being an experienced dermatologist, I want to assure you that no doctor can diagnose it without doing a biopsy or FNAC (fine-needle aspiration cytology). As I told there could be many differential diagnoses of it, so duration also is an important factor.

If duration is about three to five days, then more chance of any insect bite (which is very common). But, ultimate tool to identify it is by biopsy or FNAC only. So, I suggest you to go undergo this test procedure to clear it.

Hi doctor,

It is not painful and not itchy. I have had it for about three months, by the time it has grown in size. I will make an appointment with my general practitioner. Thank you.



Welcome back to icliniq.com.

You told it is totally symptomless. So, it goes in favor of granuloma or lipoma. Both the conditions are symptomless and both grow slowly, gradually and increase in size. That is good you are going to general practitioner (GP). According to me, you must have to undergo biopsy to identify it. You do not need to worry as it is not a dangerous condition. As per my experience, I would keep my provisional diagnosis as granuloma but biopsy is a must.

The Probable causes:

May be due to a small injury or mosquito bite which converted into granuloma.

Investigations to be done:

1. Biopsy.

2. FNAC.

Differential diagnosis:

1. Granuloma.

2. Lipoma.

Treatment plan:

Apply simple steroid cream like Fucibet (combination of Betamethasone and Fusidic acid) for 10 days.

Regarding follow up:

Revert after investigations.

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