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 reasons.

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.

5. Syringomas

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.

6. Xanthelasma

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.

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