While acne and moles are the most widely recognizable skin marks, they are by no means the only features that can develop on your face and body. Of all the other skin growths you can develop, cysts and skin tags are among the most common. These features often start out small and localized, and many people do not at first realize that they have them. While they are usually benign, they can sometimes threaten your health or quality of life. We are thus happy to offer inspections and treatments for both.
Skin tags are small bulges that grow on skin that has been subject to large amounts of friction. They tend to develop in areas where bits of skin rub together on a regular basis, such as under the armpits, beneath the breasts, on the underarms, above and beneath the eyelids, and in the intersection between the thighs and the groin. They are not dangerous and shouldn’t be painful. But they can be unsightly and may cause discomfort. Tags can develop on people of any age or health background, but they are particularly likely to affect adults who are overweight. Genetics also appears to play a role; if your parents or close relatives have these growths, you are likely to get them as well.
While there is little that you can do to prevent skin tags, they are relatively easy to remove. While these growths are not cancerous and generally present little to no direct health risk, many people still choose to get them removed for:
While skin tags themselves are not cancerous, they are sometimes hard to distinguish from other types of growths that can be. The only way to know for certain that they do not create a cancer risk is to examine some of them in a laboratory and make sure they are skin tags. In addition, tags can sometimes be the result of acromegaly, polycystic ovary syndrome, and other hormonal issues that can themselves put your health at risk. Thus despite the generally benign nature of these growths, we recommend that you let us take a look at them if you develop them in large numbers.
When you have skin tags removed, it is crucial that you let qualified medical professionals do the job. If you attempt to remove them on your own, not only are you less likely to succeed, but you also raise the risk of infection. Instead of taking this risk, let us provide quick, effective skin tag removal. We offer a variety of different options to get rid of these growths, including:
Warts are growths of epidermal skin cells secondary to Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). They have a rough texture and can appear smooth, similar to a blister, or with hard bumps, similar to cauliflower. They may also have black dots as a result of tiny blood clots. There are multiple types of warts depending on where they are on the body:
It is important to have your warts evaluated by a dermatology provider as they can also be more dangerous lesions in disguise such as squamous cell carcinoma. Treatment options include:
Also known as epidermoid cysts, skin cysts are sacs of keratin, a protein-based fluid, that form when an oil gland or hair follicle on your skin is obstructed. They can occur anywhere on your body, including your scalp, but are most likely to appear on your neck, trunk, or face. Skin cysts usually start out small and grow slowly, which is why many people who have them do not notice for long periods of time. They are typically painless but can become painful if they are ruptured or infected.
As with skin tags, your risk of developing cysts is partially determined by genetics. In particular, some genetic diseases make cysts significantly more likely, those these disorders are relatively rare. In addition, cysts are more likely to develop in areas of your skin that you have injured. They become more likely after you go through puberty.
Whereas skin tags themselves are not cancerous, cysts can be, which is why we recommend letting us inspect any cysts that you develop. Besides skin cancer, cysts also increase your risk of:
No matter how large or painful your cyst is, you should resist the urge to pop or pick at it, as this can make the problem worse and lead to a higher risk of infection. Instead, schedule an appointment with us to have the cyst removed. You have a myriad of options to get rid of cysts safely and with minimal discomfort, including:
Whether you decide not to remove a cyst or are waiting for the swelling to go down, you can keep inflammation under control by applying a warm, wet cloth to the area. This helps the cyst to drain and makes you less likely to develop scars or infections. You should also avoid squeezing or picking at the cyst. We are happy to provide you with advice on proper cyst care before, after, or as an alternative to removal. By giving you the knowledge for effective cyst management as well as offering professional treatments at your disposal, we leave you prepared for every variety of skin growth.
Seborrheic Keratosis is a very common growth in people over 50 that may occur on the face, shoulders, chest, or back. This light brown, black or tan growth may be slightly raised from the skin surface and have a “crocodile” scale or shiny appearance. These spots aren’t contagious or painful, and they aren’t thought to be caused by sun exposure as one might think. They seem to run in families so if your mother or father had them, you may develop this condition. Some people may experience itching, which may lead to scratching and bleeding.
While they aren’t necessarily dangerous, they can be very unsightly, spanning as much as an inch in diameter and often developing in clusters. Fortunately, you don’t have to live with Seborrheic Keratosis. You have treatment options:
Cherry angiomas, or “red moles”, are a very common type of skin growth that many people develop anywhere on the skin’s surface typically after the age of 30. Alternative names for them include “senile angiomas” and “Campbell de Morgan spots”. They receive their characteristic reddish color from the fact that very small blood vessels come together in that area. The cause is unknown.
Cherry angiomas are typically not a health concern unless they bleed randomly or experience changes in shape, size or color, which indicate possible skin cancer. But they can be unsightly. Many people choose to have them removed and you have a great option should you choose to do so.
Cherry angiomas are treated with:
Telangectasia is the technical name for spider veins, clusters of dilated capillaries visible under the skin that may resemble a spider’s legs or web. An estimated 50% of adults have spider veins. They’re typically the result of excessive sun exposure or significant pressure to the surface of the skin, which causes vessels to burst. Prolonged sitting and crossing the legs apply this pressure so it may increase your risk, but spider veins aren’t necessarily a sign of a sedentary lifestyle. They run in families and are very easy to develop.
Unless accompanied by severe varicose veins, they’re not generally dangerous, but they are very unsightly and many people choose to have them removed. For those people, there are some very effective treatments for spider veins:
DPN is characterized by the presence of many, small, smooth, hard, dark brown or black lesions that can be up to 5mm (nearly 1/4 inch) in diameter. They’re common in people of color. Approximately 35% of African-Americans have them and dark-skinned people of Asian descent are at higher risk of developing these aesthetic imperfections, although the exact prevalence in this group is unknown.
Those who develop Dermatosis Papulosa Nigra, typically see their first dermatoses in their teens, but as they age the number increases and can “take over” the face or other parts of the body. The medical community believes that DPN has a strong genetic component, and may occur because of genetic variation related to hair follicles.