Dermatologist checking skin of patient

What are These Lumps and Bumps on My Skin?

As you grow older, that smooth childhood skin will eventually show all kinds of strange bumps and lumps. Finding such bumps and lumps under your skin could be distressing, but it’s rarely a real cause for worry. Various factors could cause these mysterious bumps, but they’re usually benign and easily treatable.

Below are some of the most common ones, what they look like and when you should go to your dermatologist here in Utah for a consultation.

Cysts

These are round lesions formed due to skin capsules that are filled with sebum, keratin, pus-like, or fluid material. They are harmless and can be squishy or firm to touch. Approximately 20% of people will see cysts in some part of the body at some point in their life.

The inside of a cyst could vary from cheese-like and soft to watery, and could be foul-smelling or odorless. In some cases, there’s a pore in the middle that shouldn’t be disturbed due to infection risk if not popped and drained properly.

Moles

Also called naevi, these can be flat or raised, and colored brown, pink, black, the exact color of the skin, or blue in the event that the melanocytes have clustered deep in your skin’s dermal layer. Majority of moles are harmless or benign, but some melanomas or skin cancers result from existing moles.

With that in mind, you should check your body regularly for changing or new moles and have them checked by your doctor just to be on the safe side.

Dermatofibromas

dermatologist doctor inspecting woman skin

These are tiny, hard nodules that can be itchy and usually mistaken for insect bites. They’re typically smaller than 1cm, appear in the skin’s surface layer, and will dimple when pinched. On dark skin, dermatofibromas are usually black or brown with a pale center, and on lighter skin, can be light brown or pink.

Seborrhoeic Keratoses

Also known as barnacles or senile warts, these harmless skin lesions are a normal part of the aging process. They can be raised or flat, black, dark brown, or light yellow, and typically look like they have been attached to your skin.

In addition, they can be scaly or waxy and about 1mm to a couple of centimeters in size.

Lipomas

These are formed when fatty tissues develop under the skin and form a lump. Lipomas are usually benign and very common. They can surface on any body part, but most commonly appear in the armpits, neck, shoulders, or torso.

In some cases, having multiple lipomas could indicate a genetic condition like Gardner’s syndrome.

When to Visit a Dermatologist

You should get your doctor to check out any kind of lesion or bump you see on your skin if you are concerned about it. However, there are certain warning signs that warrant a visit to your doctor as soon as possible.

For example, go to your doctor right away if you see an existing mole changing color or growing, or if you see a new mole with a weird appearance pop up. You should also see your doctor if you have painful lumps or lesions that bleed easily.

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