Benign Skin Growths Symptoms & Causes

LIke ThisLIke ThisLIke ThisLIke ThisLIke This

In-Depth

What are benign skin growths?

Benign skin growths are non-cancerous bumps, spots and lumps on the skin that come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Children may have freckles and moles that multiply or darken over time. As a person grows older and spends more time in the sun, his skin changes.

What are the different types of skin growths?

Dermatofibromas:   

  • Small, firm red or brown bumps caused by an accumulation of soft tissue cells under the skin, called fibroblasts. They often occur on the legs and may itch.
  • Dermatofibromas can be surgically removed if they become painful or itchy.

Dermoid cyst:

  • A benign tumor made up of hairs, sweat glands and sebaceous glands, which are located in the middle layer of the skin. Some internal dermoid tumors may even contain cartilage, bone fragments and even teeth.
  • Dermoid cysts may be surgically removed for cosmetic reasons.

Freckles:

  • Darkened, flat spots that typically appear only on sun-exposed areas of the skin. Freckles are common in people with blond or red hair.           
  • No treatment is necessary for freckles.

Keloids:

  • Smooth, firm, raised fibrous growths on the skin that form in wound sites. Keloids are more common in African-Americans.          
  • Keloids respond poorly to most treatment approaches. Injections of corticosteroid drugs may help to flatten the keloids. Other treatment options include surgery or silicone patches to further flatten the keloids.

Lipomas:

  • Round or oval lumps under the skin caused by fatty deposits. Lipomas are more common in women and tend to appear on the forearms, torso and back of the neck.
  • Lipomas are generally harmless, but if the lipoma changes shape, your physician may perform a biopsy. Treatment may include removal by surgery if the lipoma bothers your child.

Moles (nevi):

  • Small skin marks caused by pigment-producing cells in the skin. Moles can be flat or raised, smooth or rough, and some contain hair. Most moles are dark brown or black, but some are skin-colored or yellowish. Moles can change over time and often respond to hormonal changes.
  • Most moles are benign and no treatment is necessary. Some benign moles may develop into skin cancer (melanoma).
Boston Children’s is so much more than a hospital—it’s a community of researchers, clinicians, administrators, support staff, innovators, teachers, patients and families, all working together to make the impossible possible. ”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

Boston Children's Hospital
300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115
For Patients: 617-355-6000
For Referring Providers: 844-BCH-PEDS | 844-224-7337

Close