It’s common, as you get older, to develop lesions, growths, and discolorations on your skin. Generally, these aren’t health-threatening, though it’s natural for you to be concerned about cancerous growths. We’ve written previously about recognizing the signs of skin cancer, and any new or unusual growth should be assessed for its potential.
When you recognize a benign lesion, it can put your mind at ease, and there may even be steps you can take to treat the spot on your own. In addition, Dr. Clement Banda and his team at MD Vein & Skin Specialists are standing by when you’re unsure or when you need additional treatment. Today we discuss six types of skin growths and how to treat them.
Typically, moles emerge before the age of 20, and it’s normal to have up to about 40 of these brown or black spots. Most moles are harmless and rarely develop into cancerous lesions. When they do, it’s more likely that the mole first formed later in your adult life and looks different than other moles on your body. There’s no need to treat benign moles unless you’re unhappy with their appearance. Otherwise, watch for signs of change and visit our office for a medical assessment.
You may know these as sun, age, or liver spots, dark flat spots that often appear on skin that’s regularly exposed to the sun. Formed by clumps of pigment cells in your skin, you’ll usually find lentigines on your arms, face, hands, scalp, and upper abdomen. Bleaching creams containing retinoids or hydroquinone can reduce the appearance of these non-cancerous forms of sun damage.
3. Seborrheic keratoses
Usually appearing on the back, chest, face, or neck as you get older, seborrheic keratoses appear as raised, waxy bumps. They range in color from light tan through brown to black, and while they’re not harmful in themselves, they can catch on clothing, becoming irritated. Otherwise, you won’t need treatment for these unless their wart-like appearance bothers you.
4. Skin tags
Medically known as acrochordons, skin tags usually appear in places where there’s skin-on-skin friction, such as under the arms or breasts, groin, and neck. They’re also common on the chest and back. Like seborrheic keratoses, they’re painless unless irritated by clothing or jewelry. Dr. Banda can remove skin tags for you in a short office visit.
5. Sebaceous hyperplasia
Caused by an enlargement of the sebaceous glands surrounding a skin follicle, sebaceous hyperplasia occurs more often in men. Raised growths that encircle a central hollow, these benign lesions sometimes resemble basal cell carcinomas, so cancer assessment is a prudent choice. Sebaceous hyperplasia can also be removed for cosmetic purposes.
6. Cherry angioma
Small, bright red spots usually appearing on the abdomen or on your arms and legs close to the abdomen, cherry angiomas are both benign and without symptoms. As vascular growths that tend to increase in number with age, these spots might bleed more easily than surrounding skin but are otherwise only a potential aesthetic issue.
There are plenty of other benign skin growths, including cysts, lipomas, freckles, and more. Whenever an unusual skin growth occurs, a visit to MD Vein & Skin Specialists is a wise decision, since skin cancers are easiest to treat with early diagnosis. Chances are your growth will prove to be benign.
You can reach our office by phone or online to schedule an examination or treatment. Book an appointment to put your mind at ease.