Common Benign Skin Growths

Seborrhoeic keratoses, sebaceous hyperplasias, skin tags and syringomas are the most common benign skin growths. These benign, harmless skin growths tend to appear as little bumps or rough spots, and can sometimes enlarge over time. They usually start to appear during middle and old age. However, skin cancers can sometimes mimick these benign skin growths, and vice-versa. Hence, it is important to seek medical attention to get an accurate diagnosis of a skin growth, especially if the growth is getting bigger with time, changing in colour or shape, or is ulcerated or bleeding.

Seborrhoeic keratosis
Seborrhoeic keratoses usually appear as brown spots or brown bumps on the face. They can also appear on the neck or the body. They usually start developing on the face around age 40-50. They can be flat or raised, and may increase in size very slowly. Sometimes, they can resemble viral warts. These growths can be removed by cryotherapy, electrocautery or lasers.

Sebaceous hyperplasias
Sebaceous hyperplasias are caused by overgrowth of sebaceous glands. They tend to appear as yellowish/orangy bumps on the face. They can be removed via electrocautery or lasers.

Syringomas
Syringomas are benign sweat gland tumours. They tend to develop over the lower eyelids, and appear like small, 2-3 mm translucent round bumps. This condition can run in families. They often appear at a younger age, around the 20s-30s. They can be removed via electrocautery or lasers.

Skin tags
Skin tags are little extra outgrowths of skin. They typically appear on the neck and underarms. There seems to be a genetic predisposition towards developing such skin lesions, as they often run in families. With time, skin tags can grow and “hang” off the skin like little grapes. Skin tags can be removed with electrocautery or lasers.