Multiple lump and bumps may arise on or below the skin. The follow is a discussion of some of the more common benign (non-cancerous) growths.

Seborrheic keratosis

Characteristics

  • Warty or rough, "stuck-on" appearing light tan to brown or dark brown growths on the head and neck, trunk and extremities
  • Range in size from a couple of millimeters to several centimeters
  • Appear with increasing age and are hereditary
  • Can be numerous and some patients have hundreds
  • Most people over 50 have at least one
  • Although benign, they can mimic the appearance of squamous cell carcinoma or melanoma

Treatment

  • No treatment is usually required
  • If they become inflamed and itch, burn or bleed they can be removed with liquid nitrogen aka "freezing" or dessication and curretage, aka "scrape and burn"

Angiomas

Characteristics

  • Small pink, red or purple colored bumps most commonly seen on the trunk and extremities
  • Benign tumor made of small blood vessels
  • Usually not symptomatic, but may bleed if traumatized
  • Range in size from 1mm to 1cm or more
  • Patients may have one or hundreds

Treatment

  • No treatment is usually required
  • Can be treated with an elecrocautery device or laser to destroy the blood vessels

Dermatofibromas

Characteristics

  • Red, brown or purple bumps that feel like a firm, deep-seated lump
  • Found most commonly on the legs
  • When pinched, often indent or move deeper into the skin
  • Are mostly not symptomatic, but may itch or be tender
  • Are thought to be an abnormal response to a minor injury from shaving one's legs or an insect bit

Treatment

  • Usually does not require treatment
  • Most common removal by surgical excision as other treatment rarely work

Epidermoid Cysts (formally known as sebaceous cysts)

Characteristics

  • Subcutaneous lumps that range from pea-sized to tennis ball size
  • Usually flesh-colored, white or yellow
  • Freely mobile with manipulated
  • Form from an implanted portion of skin grows or as an out pouching of a hair follicle
  • Most commonly appear on the face, scalp, back, neck, trunk and genitals
  • If ruptured, may emit a foul-smelling, cheese-like discharge which is dead skin cells trapped in the cyst's sac
  • Can becoming inflamed and even infected if ruptured

Treatment

  • Often require no treatment
  • When inflamed or infected, antibiotics may be prescribed
  • Can be incised and drained to release the cheese-like discharge and relieve pressure/pain and growth
  • Surgical exicion is often definitive

Lipomas

Characteristics

  • Causes by enlarged fat lobules that gain a capsule or covering
  • Soft, mobile growths below the skin’s surface
  • Appear most commonly on the trunk, shoulders and neck, but may occur on the forehead
  • May be single or multiple
  • Usually painless, but some forms are tender

Treatment

  • Usually does not require treatment
  • If large, growing or symptomatic, may be surgically excised.

 

Pyogenic Granuloma

Pyogenic granuloma is a rapid-growing, fragile, red bump that often bleeds and scabs over. Causes include skin injury, certain medications and pregnancy. It is most frequently found on the scalp, fingers, face and lips. Some lesions resolve spontaneously, but other require multiple treatments. Treatments include topical anticoagulants such as silver nitrate, heat or electrocautery and surgical excision.