Skin growths are usually medically harmless but can be cosmetically displeasing or in an uncomfortable location. Some skin growths may indicate skin cancer, so it’s important to have them evaluated by a qualified dermatologist like those at Southwest Michigan Dermatology. Call the Portage, Michigan, office today or request an appointment online and have your skin growth evaluated and possibly removed.
What are skin growths?
Skin growths are any abnormal bumps or lesions that appear on your skin. They typically include:
These noncancerous skin growths contain nerve cells, core fibers, and fat cells. Usually, they’re skin-colored or light brown. They’re not a cause for concern, but they can be unattractive or make shaving or wearing jewelry uncomfortable.
Warts are usually harmless skin growths that result from contact with a strain of the human papillomavirus (HPV). You may develop warts on your hands, feet, and genitals.
Children are especially susceptible to warts because their immune system hasn’t developed protection against the virus that causes warts. Warts are not medically dangerous, but they can be embarrassing, irritating, and uncomfortable.
Moles are skin growths that are common and usually harmless. Moles may be red, pink, brown, or flesh-colored. They can become cancerous over time, so if you notice changes in the color, shape, or size of a mole, consult the providers at Southwest Michigan Dermatology right away.
Moles don’t need to be removed unless they’re cancerous, but your provider can excise or freeze them off if they are aesthetically bothersome or rub uncomfortably against clothing.
Cysts are bumps in skin tissues filled with blood, fluid, pus, or other tissues. Cysts can be painful or become infected. Sometimes they’re just unsightly.
Cysts sometimes go away on their own, but if yours is especially bothersome or isn’t disappearing, your provider can remove it with injections, incisions, or drainage. A local anesthetic is used during cyst removal, and a small cut is made to squeeze out the cyst.
Lipomas are fatty lumps that are usually harmless. They typically are slow growing and can be removed with an excision.
When should I be worried about skin growth?
Be suspicious of skin growths that appear on sun-exposed body areas, like your ears, face, head, arms, or neck. Basal cell carcinoma may appear like a flesh-colored bump or pinkish skin patch. Squamous cell carcinoma shows up as a red bump, a scaly patch, or a sore that won’t heal completely.
Moles that change in their features, like shape and color, also need immediate attention from a dermatologist. These changes could indicate that your mole has become cancerous.
How are skin growths treated?
Skin growths don’t always need treatment. But if you have a bothersome skin tag, mole, or wart, the team at Southwest Michigan Dermatology can help.
Treatments include excision, snipping, or freezing off the growth. In suspected skin cancer cases, an excisional biopsy sample is taken, and the sample is sent to a laboratory for analysis. If cancer is found, your provider reaches out to explain any other necessary tests and treatments you may need.
If you have bothersome or concerning skin growths, make an appointment at Southwest Michigan Dermatology. Call today or request an appointment online.