Benign skin growth removal is performed by the dermatologists at Colleyville Dermatology for lesions or tumors on the surface of the skin caused by an accumulated group of skin cells and tissue.
Benign Skin Growth Removal
Skin growths are often not a danger to health, they can be bothersome and cause self-consciousness and embarrassment for some individuals. In these cases, Colleyville Dermatology offers safe, in-office removal using the most up-to-date methods available.
Benign skin growths can be caused by:
- Environmental factors, such as sun exposure
- Certain hormonal problems or medical disorders
Skin growths can appear at any age in a range of colors, such as red, brown, black, or the individual’s skin color. A benign skin growth is considered to be “controlled”, meaning the cells and tissue do not spread to other areas of the body.
In any case, a skin growth should be evaluated by a board-certified dermatologist to ensure that it is non-cancerous (benign).
Common Benign Skin Growths
Colleyville Dermatology performs removal of all manners of benign skin growths.
Common growths we treat include:
Seborrheic keratoses: These typically wart-like growths can present almost anywhere on the body and often appear on the abdomen, neck, chest, back, and head. They can vary in color and are usually rough/scaly (hyperkeratotic) and round or oval in shape. Seborrheic keratoses can also be smooth and waxy in some cases. Genetics, age, and sun exposure are frequent causes.
Sebaceous hyperplasia: This skin disorder produces skin growths in adults that present as enlargements of the oil-producing sebaceous glands which surround hair follicles on the face. Sebaceous hyperplasia typically appears as small, yellow or flesh-colored bumps. Although they are benign, they can resemble basal cell carcinomas, so it is important to have your dermatologist evaluate this type of skin growth.
Skin tags (also called acrochorda or fibroepithelial polyps): These small, benign tumors are connected to the skin by a peduncle (thin stalk). Skin tags are soft and usually flesh-colored. While they are typically not painful, skin tags can be bothersome, as they often occur in areas that experience frequent friction, such as the neck, eyelid, groin or armpit. They appear more often in conjunction with increasing age, obesity, diabetes, and pregnancy.
Angiomas: Commonly called cherry angiomas because of their red appearance, these benign vascular growths are made up of an overgrowth of capillaries. Angiomas appear as small red bumps often on the trunk, arms, and legs.
Moles (nevi): Moles are typically benign, rounded skin growths that are usually symmetrical and uniform in color (most often black or brown). Moles often appear during childhood and can change shape and color over time which can make them more prone to developing melanoma. They can appear anywhere on the body, be rough or smooth, flat or raised, and can contain hair. Atypical moles (irregular borders, asymmetrical, multiple or uneven colors, and/or larger than 6mm in diameter) should be evaluated by your dermatologist.
Pyogenic granulomas: These small, round growths appear as blood-red, blueish-black, or brown raised nodules on the skin’s surface. Pyogenic granulomas can appear quickly (over a few weeks) at any age on various areas of the body (most often the upper extremities, face/neck, back, or genitals). They can occur after an injury as a result of small blood vessel growth, so bleeding is not unusual. Hormonal changes during pregnancy or from certain medications, such as oral contraceptives, are also known to be contributing factors. In some cases, they can disappear as spontaneously as they appeared.
Dermatofibromas: These dermal nodules are typically small and firm in varying colors (red, brown, black, or flesh-colored) and appear as a thickened layer of skin. They are usually .5 – 1.5 cm in diameter and commonly occur on the extremities of adult women. Upon palpitation, they may appear to retract into the skin as a dimple. Dermatofibromas are a result of an accumulation of soft tissue cells (fibroblasts) under the skin’s surface, often after a minor skin injury such as an insect bite. They are usually asymptomatic but can be itchy and painful in some cases.
Keloids: These smooth, hard skin growths are a result of scar tissue forming after an injury. Keloids can vary in size depending on the severity of the injury and often grow larger than the actual wound. These fibrous growths can cause itching, burning, tenderness, and pain but are not usually dangerous to health. Keloids are believed to occur due to a problem with collagen production.
Lipomas: These slow-growing, soft tumors made up of fat cells can range from a few millimeters to over 10 centimeters. Located just under the skin, lipomas are usually found on older adults and typically do not cause medical problems unless they involve nerves or thrombosed vessels (angiolipomas).
Milia (singular is milium): These small white or yellow spots usually occur on the face and are caused when skin flakes are trapped in pockets nears the skin’s surface. Most common in newborns and adult females, milia can appear in conjunction with other medical conditions which involve blistering.
Cysts: A cyst is an enlarged pocket under the skin that can contain fluid, pus, air, or other materials They can appear anywhere on the body and typically do not require treatment. In some cases, however, if a cyst is painful, tender, or causing other problems, removal may be recommended.
Solar lentigos (age/liver spots): These flat, brown discolorations appear on the skin over time from sun exposure which stimulates skin pigmentation.
Procedures for Removing Benign Skin Growths
Several treatment options are available for removing benign skin growths. Your board certified dermatologist at Colleyville Dermatology will advise you of the best treatments for the type of skin growth you are experiencing. Once a complete evaluation has been done, your doctor may make an immediate diagnosis or take a tissue sample (biopsy) of the growth to ensure that it is benign.
If skin growth removal is warranted or desired for aesthetic concerns, treatment options may include:
- Cryotherapy/cryosurgery: The skin growth is frozen off with liquid nitrogen. This method is quick and considered low risk.
- Electrodesiccation and curettage (ED&C): After injecting a local anesthetic, the growth is scraped or burned off with a specialized instrument, cauterized to stop any bleeding, then dressed to protect the wound while healing.
- Surgical excision: The area is numbed with a local anesthetic, and the dermatologist cuts down to the subcutaneous layer of skin to remove the growth under the skin’s surface. The incision site is then closed with sutures.
- Snip or shave excision: The skin growth is removed using surgical scissors or a sharp razor. A chemical may be applied to stop any bleeding, antibiotic ointment is applied to promote healing, and the area is covered to lower infection risk.
- Corticosteroid injections: Typically used to treat keloids, steroid shots can help reduce collagen and protein production which allows the skin growth to soften and flatten.
While the majority of skin growths are harmless, they should be evaluated by your dermatologist to ensure they are benign. If you are concerned about a skin growth or would like a benign skin growth removed for aesthetic reasons, please contact the board-certified dermatologists at Colleyville Dermatology.