If you’ve recently noticed an unusual skin change, you’re certainly not alone. Skin lesions, lumps, and bumps are quite common, especially among older people or persons who have a significant history of sun exposure. If you want to know when to worry, please read on. We’ve gathered savvy advice from dermatology experts and now share it with you.
Lesions, bumps, and other lumps
While unsightly and sometimes itchy, most skin lesions are not super dangerous. In fact, the preponderance of visible skin maladies are benign, or noncancerous. At the same time, it’s always a good idea to have any new skin change checked out by a dermatologist or skin care expert. Skin issues typically seen include warts, moles, warts, and skin infections. Less common are actinic keratoses, and skin cancers, revealed Dr. Brian Joseph Miller in Everyday Health magazine.
Cherry angiomas are commonly diagnosed skin lumps that typically show up after the age of 30. Smooth and red, cherry angioma rarely require medical intervention but may be removed via laser surgery.
Lipoma are very common under-the-skin lumps that commonly appear between 40 and 60. They may be hereditary, but are rarely dangerous. If you don’t like the looks of a lipoma, a dermatologist can help you.
Even non-malignant skin lumps can be bothersome. They may itch or feel painful to the touch. Lumps tend to develop more readily with age. For this reason, seniors are generally more affected by skin issues than young adults and middle-aged persons. Although not an interference to everyday life, skin bumps not directly associated with a recent injury ought to be examined by a skin specialist. The sooner a skin lesion is addressed, the better the chances for a favorable outcome.
Who gets skin bumps and lumps
Body areas that have been repeatedly exposed to sunlight are more apt to present with skin lesions. The face, chest, and back of the arms are typical areas for skin bumps and lumps. Areas with plentiful sweat glands are also likely sites for skin bumps and lesions. Lumps can be moveable and semi-soft or rigid and firmly in place. It’s best to not take chances, so be sure to consult with a skin doctor. If you are advised to undergo a screening for skin cancer, do it without hesitation. If detected early, most skin lesions don’t lead to everlasting problems.
Cysts and boils
Fluid-filled skin bumps can be horrible to live with, but they’re not usually cancerous. Common cysts include behind-the-knee Baker’s cysts and jelly-filled ganglion cysts that may appear along joints and tendons, explains Cleveland Clinic.
Also known as a synovial or popliteal cyst, a Baker’s cyst may or may not be painful. Typically associated with injury to the knee, this sort of cyst may be mistaken for a blood clot. You should get it checked out, if you have a lump behind your knee. Baker’s cysts occur when a damaged knee produces more fluid than it requires. Structural damage is the commonest cause of Baker’s cyst.
Small, rounded ganglion cysts that develop along a tendon or joint are a bit different. Instead of synovial fluid, they are filled with a somewhat firmer, jelly-like substance. Ganglion cysts are not cancerous, but they can cause considerable discomfort, says Mayo Clinic. These cysts typically appear in persons between the age of 20 and 50. Some patients can have a painless ganglion cyst for years, then suddenly the cyst causes problems for the patient. Fortunately, this sort of cyst can be treated by a specialist.
Liposarcoma: A few things to understand
Of the soft tissue cancers, liposarcoma is among the most frequently diagnosed. These tumors can start as a small, painless mass yet quickly develop causing pain and sometimes, immobility of a limb. Liposarcomae may develop anywhere on the body but most typically appear on the legs, calves, thighs, or forearm.
There are several types of liposarcoma, and each behaves uniquely. The most commonly diagnosed liposarcoma is called ‘well-differentiated.” It presents in about 40 percent of liposarcoma patients. Myxoid liposarcoma/round cell liposarcoma, pleomorphic, and dedifferentiated liposarcoma are lesser diagnosed but also very serious skin conditions that should be addressed by a skilled oncologist without delay. The sooner a proper diagnosis is made, the sooner liposarcoma surgery may be of benefit to the patient.
If you have a skin change you don’t understand, make an appointment to consult with a skin specialist without delay. Most skin lesions and lumps are not serious, but it’s not a good idea to take chances with your health.
Rosie Butcher is a practical nurse who enjoys helping others be healthier. Her articles appear on many health and wellness websites.