Lumps, bumps and moles are common skin growths that are caused by factors such as family history and exposure to ultraviolet rays. Though most of these growths are benign, some can be signs of a more serious condition, such as melanoma. Keeping track of any new growths and scheduling regular skin checks with a board-certified dermatologist are imperative.
Moles (nevi), the most common type of skin growth, develop when the body’s melanin-making cells form a cluster instead of spreading out. Often, they are black or brown but can also be skin-colored, pink or deep blue. They can be flat or raised on the skin. Usually, moles grow in childhood and continue appearing during the first 40 to 50 years of life. After that, they gradually go away. Certain conditions, such as sun exposure, can cause new moles to form.
About one-quarter of melanomas develop into a mole or a growth that resembles a mole. If you develop new moles or if your current moles change in size or shape, schedule an appointment at Pensacola Dermatology for a skin exam. Dr. Amy Watson can remove the mole and perform a biopsy, if necessary.
Common Types of Bumps
- Dermatofibromas, small hard bumps that often look like mosquito bites. Dermatofibromas can range in color from dark to pale pink. Although this type of bump is not harmful, it’s often itchy and irritating. If necessary, a doctor can remove dermatofibromas with simple excision.
- Haemangiomas, firm red, purple or blue bumps that develop when too many blood vessels grow in one place under the skin. Although they are usually harmless, they can be removed for cosmetic reasons or if a change in size or color warrants a biopsy.
- Seborrhoeic Keratoses, which resemble warts and range in color from light to black. Usually, they are small but can grow relatively large with age. Like haemangiomas, these bumps can be removed for cosmetic or rare medical reasons.
Common Types of Lumps
- Cysts, which are round lumps that develop when skin cells, damaged skin, hair or bodily fluids get trapped below your skin. Draining the cyst can provide temporary relief, but permanent relief requires removing the cyst walls. Depending on the size of the cyst, one or two small stitches may be needed after the excision.
- Lipomas, harmless lumps that are made of fat cells. Some lipomas can resemble large cysts. Some people choose to have them excised for cosmetic reasons or for comfort, if the lipoma is located in an place where it rubs against skin or clothing.
Bumps and growths | American Academy of Dermatology. (2018). Aad.org. Retrieved 21 December 2018, from https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/bumps-and-growths