Lumps & Bumps - Cause for Concern?

Lumps and bumps that are present under the skin should always be checked by a dermatologist. coolsculptingA lump or bump which is new, getting bigger, is tender or painful needs to be checked. Even if it turns out to be nothing, it’s important to know for sure that your lumps and bumps aren’t something more serious. When in doubt, call the board-certified professionals at Warrenton Dermatology. Some of the most common types of skin bumps and lesions include:

Skin Cysts

are common and can appear on all parts of the body. They may occur as a result of injury or infection, around a clogged pore, or around a foreign body like a splinter or even a new earring. Cysts are extremely slow-growing, painless, and they feel smooth. Many people describe their cyst as feeling like there’s a pea stuck below their skin. When a cyst is formed around a foreign body, or if it becomes irritated, inflamed, or filled with fluid, surgical excision may be necessary.

Open & Closed Comedos

commonly referred to as blackheads and whiteheads, occur when oil and skin cells accumulate and block pores. If the clogged pore remains open, it looks black. A closed comedo is typically white in appearance. Often, facial cleansers and topical products are effective in removing or reducing the numbers of blackheads and whiteheads. However, you should never pinch or squeeze the skin to remove them. The Estheticians at Warrenton Dermatology will professionally extract them as part of a deep pore cleansing facial or Hydrafacial treatment.

Cherry Angiomas

take their name from the cherry-red coloring of the bump, and typically impact those over the age of 40. They are usually smooth to the touch, and may be as small as a pinhead or grow as large as a quarter inch in diameter. In most cases, these asymptomatic bumps don’t need to be treated. If you don’t like the appearance of these lesions, they can easily be removed using a Lam Probe or cosmetic laser.

Dermatofibromas

are hard, round, reddish-brown bumps, and they most often occur following an injury (bug bite, bump or bruise, cut or scratch). Dermatofibromas contain scar tissue, so they will feel hard. Some people describe them as feeling like a BB gun pellet stuck below the skin. Usually asymptomatic, they may cause some itching, pain, or tenderness. These typically don’t need to be removed, but they can be surgically removed if they become painful.

Folliculitis

occurs when hair follicles are inflamed. This can happen after using chemical-laden products or due to physical irritation from chafing clothing, shaving, or other causes of friction against sensitive skin. Folliculitis most often occurs in the hair follicles on the face, scalp, and thighs. Treatment usually includes avoiding irritation by wearing loose clothing, avoiding shaving the area, and making changes to shaving methods and products. You may also want to use calming lotion or cortisone cream to relieve the itchiness and inflammation. Some patients experience dramatic improvement in symptoms by simply applying a warm, moist compress to the impacted areas. In some cases, a bacterial or fungal infection may occur in combination with folliculitis and will need to be treated using oral and/or topical antibiotics or antifungals. It is best to work with your Dermatologist to develop a treatment plan for this condition

Keratosis Pilaris

looks like “goosebumps” or “chicken skin bumps.” While it may not be attractive, these small bumps that usually appear on the upper arms and thighs, are completely harmless. Treatment is not medically necessary, but there are some medical-grade topical products to improve the cosmetic appearance of keratosis pilaris (often referred to simply as KP). Most people see a dramatic reduction in the appearance of this condition by the age of 30. Symptoms of KP can be treated at home by moisturizing and exfoliating regularly.

Lipomas

are subcutaneous (below the skin) benign soft tissue tumors. The word tumor can be frightening, but lipomas are usually slow-growing and benign. They can occur anywhere on the body, but lipomas most often appear on the neck, shoulders, and trunk. The majority of lipomas are soft, malleable lumps that don’t grow larger than 5 cm in diameter. While they are typically painless, a lipoma may grow large enough to compress nerves in specific areas. If a lipoma grows large enough to cause cosmetic or functional concerns, we may recommend surgical removal.

When Should I Call Warrenton Dermatology?

If your lesion, bump, or lump isn’t growing and doesn’t itch, hurt, burn, or feel warm to the touch, it’s probably a benign skin condition. Still, we recommend having new growths or bumps on the skin checked by a professional. Lumps and bumps can be cancerous, and the only way to diagnose that is to biopsy it. Dermatologists are specially trained to know which lesions need to be biopsied, which need to be treated or removed, and which can be left alone.

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