As a dermatologist, Dr. Zein Obagi will always recommend that you monitor all the bumps and growths on your skin for changes. Doing a simple body check on yourself at home every few months can literally save your life – especially when you consider that early detection is the most important weapon we have against deadly skin cancer. So go see your dermatologist for an annual skin check or sooner, if you find something that looks suspicious or is changing or if you have a family history of any form of skin cancer.
However, not all of your little skin lesions, lumps and growth are actually dangerous. Below, we have listed a few of the most common things that can grow on your skin but are not generally serious or life threatening.
- Sebaceous Cysts are noncancerous, closed pockets of oil-filled tissue growths on the skin. They usually feel like large peas under the skin and can develop as a result of infection or clogged oil glands.. Sebaceous cysts typically grow slowly, are usually painless, and have a smooth appearance. Occasionally, cysts can become hard and painful, and they may get infected and require immediate treatment. When a cyst becomes infected it may grow rapidly, become painful, and the skin surrounding the area can become warm to the touch and red.
- Lentigo are freckles or age spots that occur on the arms, legs, and face or any sun exposed area of the skin.. Lentigos are various shades of brown and have a clearly-defined edge surrounded by normal-appearing skin and a flat surface. Lasers and skin lighteners can help eliminate lentigos. If a lentigo starts to rapidly grow, change color, itch, or bleed, go see a dermatologist to have it checked.
- Seborrheic Keratosis is a benign skin growth that takes a waxy brown, black, red or white appearance. These are rough growths that can grow rapidly anywhere on the body. Although benign, these can often scare people because they can seem to come up very suddenly, grow rapidly, can be several colors and itchy. Seborrheic keratosis are also called age-related barnacles. They tend to show up after age 50 and are easily removed by shaving and certain laser systems.
- Warts are viral-caused painless growths on the skin caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). Warts can be embarrassing and they can sometimes itch or become irritated. They are contagious and therefore, should be removed as soon as possible.
For more info, visit aad.org