COMMON BENIGN SKIN TUMOURS/GROWTHS
There are many types of skin tumours/growths. Some of them are harmless
and need no treatment. These are called benign tumours. Some are cancerous
and must be removed early. These are called malignant tumours.
What are some of the benign skin tumours/growths ?
1. Seborrhoeic keratosis
These are brown to black growths on the face and body. They are usually
present on the skin of people over 40 years old. The tumours appear as if
they are "stuck-on" the skin. Sometimes, they can be very dark. The
surface is usually rough and can be greasy. There may be multiple,
distributed on the face, body and limbs.
They can be left alone but
may be removed by minor surgery for cosmetic reasons.
2. Dermatosis papulosa nigra
These are small black skin outgrowths lumps on the face and neck. They are commonly
seen in dark skin people. They are harmless but can be removed by minor
surgery for cosmetic reasons.
3. Skin Tags
These are skin coloured lumps that grow out of the skin. They are soft and usually found on the
neck, armpits and body.
These are harmless but can be removed by minor surgery for cosmetic
4. Sebaceous hyperplasia
They are enlarged oil glands on the face which appear as small yellow irregular
lumps with an opening in the centre. They are often seen on the face of
elderly persons. They can be removed by minor surgery.
These are benign growths of the sweat ducts. They appear as small skin-coloured lumps
usually on the eyelids and cheeks. They are painless. They can be removed
by minor surgery for cosmetic reasons.
These are raised yellow-coloured patches appearing on the eyelids. They
represent oily deposits in the skin. These lesions may be associated with
high fat content in the blood. Therefore, anyone with these lesions should
see a doctor to see if they have any underlying medical problem that needs
treatment. The lesions can be removed by minor surgery.
How are benign growths treated
Most tumours/growths can be destroyed by electosurgery or
laser surgery. Electrosurgery is a procedure whereby the tumours are
destroyed using a needle attached to an electric current. When the current
is switched on, the electrical energy is converted to heat energy which
will burn off the tissue. Laser surgery removes skin tumours by high
energy light. These procedures are painless under local anaesthesia.
Larger tumours are excised with a surgical blade.