Abnormal growths or bumps on the skin are relatively common, and they are generally benign. Any lump that is growing and causing visible deformity should be assessed for peace of mind to know that it truly is benign, or to begin treatment as soon as possible if it is not.
What is a benign tumour?
Despite the negative connotations that are associated with the word ‘tumour’, it’s natural for benign skin lumps to occur on the skin. A benign tumour is a mass of cells that form on the skin, but unlike cancerous tumours, they do not have the ability to spread to other tissues. While you should always have benign skin lumps checked just to be sure, they can safely either be left or removed for aesthetic reasons.
What causes benign skin lumps?
A benign tumour can be:
Lipoma (fat deposition)
Enlarged lymph nodes
Sebaceous cysts (blocked sweat glands)
Warts (viral infection of the skin)
Corn or callus (thickening of the skin due to continuous pressure)
Skin lumps and cysts can be diagnosed with physical examination. Your doctor may also recommend a biopsy of the cyst to confirm the diagnosis and identify the underlying cause.
Treatment of a benign tumour
Some benign tumours do not even need to be removed. Any tumour associated with growth and/or visible deformity can be removed surgically or with curettage.