If you notice an unusual bump or growth on the skin, it is important to have this evaluated to determine if it is benign (safe and not concerning) or potentially malignant (cancerous and possibly life-threatening). Several conditions are considered benign tumors which do not pose serious health concerns but can be removed if they cause discomfort or you feel self-conscious about the appearance. In addition to the unwanted appearance, it can be beneficial to have a dermatologist examine any growths to ensure they are not a more serious condition, like skin cancer. Patients in Glenview Illinois and the surrounding area can put their trust in Dr. Liz Damstetter and the Reserve Dermatology team for an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment whenever they notice a skin tumor.
What are Benign Skin Tumors?
A benign skin tumor is a growth of tissue that is not cancerous and does not pose serious health concerns. These tumors are especially common among older adults. A dermatologist may use the term “benign tumor” to refer to a number of growths, including moles, seborrheic keratoses, warts, dermatofibromas (scar tissue), or lipomas (fatty tumors).
What Causes Skin Tumors?
The overall cause of skin tumors is largely unknown, though certain types of growths do have comment triggers. For example, lipomas, or fatty tumors, are more likely to develop in an area that has faced a traumatic injury. Similarly, dermatofibromas, or scar tissue tumors, will develop after an insect bite or acne.
Other types of skin tumors may have a genetic component, as they seem to run in families. If your parents or another close family member developed benign skin tumors as they grew older, you may be more likely to as well.
Skin Tumor Symptoms
Skin tumors will have varying symptoms depending on the specific type of tumor. Generally speaking, most tumors will not cause pain or discomfort. However, skin tumors can cause irritation if they are in an area where they may face friction or catch on clothing or jewelry.
Skin Tumor Treatment Options
Most benign skin tumors do not require treatment, but they can be removed for cosmetic reasons or to relieve discomfort. It is also beneficial to see a dermatologist to rule out any serious issues such as skin cancer which could potentially be confused with a benign tumor.
There are several options to remove benign skin tumors. These include:
- Curettage, or scraping away the tissues.
- Surgical excision, or cutting away the tissues using a scalpel or similar tools.
- Cryosurgery, or freezing away the tissues using liquid nitrogen.
In any of these methods, the skin will first be thoroughly cleansed and numbed using a topical or local anesthetic. The process can be completed quickly at Reserve Dermatology. Following the procedure, Dr. Damstetter will give you instructions to care for the wound to encourage proper healing and avoid infection. In most cases, skin tumor removal will result in a small scar. Dr. Damstetter will explain what you can expect prior to your procedure.
Schedule an Appointment
To learn more about benign skin tumors and your options for removal or treatment, schedule an appointment with Dr. Liz Damstetter. Call Reserve Dermatology in Glenview, IL or contact us online to set up your appointment.