Other Common Skin Growths
- Digital Mucinous Pseudocyst (Myxoid Cyst)
- Hemangioma (Cherry Angioma)
- Prurigo Nodularis (Picker’s Nodule)
- Pyogenic Granuloma (Proud Flesh)
Digital Mucinous Pseudocyst (Myxoid Cyst)
These lesions are bluish in color and extrude a clear, thick material when punctured. They most commonly occur in the skin overlying the base of the fingernail and may interfere with nail growth, causing a nail groove to develop. These lesions are not true cysts, but represent a degenerative process of the skin in which the sticky, jelly-like substance accumulates. Treatment includes surgical removal and/or cortisone injections.
Hemangioma (Cherry Angioma)
Hemangiomas are benign growths consisting of numerous small blood vessels. The typical lesion is small, red, and occurs most commonly on the torso of adults; however, a hemangioma can develop anywhere on the body. Some may become the size of a pencil eraser and be purple in color. Individuals may develop hundreds of lesions. Usually asymptomatic (do not hurt or itch), larger lesions may bleed and require removal. Many methods may be used to remove these lesions, including excision, electrosurgery, and laser surgery.
A lipoma is a fatty tumor that lies deep in the skin and appears as a soft lump. Occasionally, lipomas are tender to the touch but usually do not cause other symptoms. Malignant (cancerous) transformation rarely occurs. Lipomas may be small or quite large and develop in adults as single or multiple lesions. These tumors do not require treatment unless they become large and uncomfortable or exquisitely tender. Treatment consists of surgically removing the lipoma or liposuction.
A neurofibroma may resemble a non-colored mole but is often very soft. These lesions are usually asymptomatic (do not hurt or itch), but may be tender to the touch. The benign growths are derived from nerve sheath cells in the skin. They may be removed surgically if they are bothersome. When there are numerous neurofibromas, patches of pigmentation, and freckling in the armpits, the individual may have an inherited disorder called neurofibromatosis. There are many forms of this disease, which may be associated with brain tumors and internal neurofibromas that can become malignant. Such patients require close monitoring and genetic counseling.
Prurigo Nodularis (Picker’s Nodule)
Prurigo nodularis is a thickened, rough, tumor-like, sometimes scaly lesion that often causes intense itching. It is not a true growth; it is a reactive process due to scratching. The exact cause of the intense itching remains unknown. Since it can be confused with squamous cell carcinoma, a type of skin cancer, a skin biopsy is sometimes necessary. Occasionally, prurigo nodularis is associated with an underlying medical condition, such as eczema, kidney failure, or cancer. Treatment is difficult and may consist of cortisone injections placed directly into the growth, cortisone tapes, creams, ointments, freezing, anti-itch medication, or curettage (scraping).
Pyogenic Granuloma (Proud Flesh)
Pyogenic granulomas are small pink or red lesions formed by many blood vessels. With minor trauma, the lesions bleed easily. They may arise spontaneously or develop after an injury. These growths occur at any age and in both sexes, but are more common in children. Those that form during pregnancy in the gingiva (gums) usually disappear spontaneously after delivery. The most efficacious treatment is to surgically shave and cauterize them with an electric needle. Other treatment methods used are surgical removal and electrocautery, cryosurgery (freezing), and laser surgery.
Syringomas are small (2 millimeter) lesions of sweat gland ducts. They occur most often in women, form frequently on the lower eyelid, and are usually skin colored. The lesions also may be white. They are asymptomatic (do not hurt or itch). Treatment includes electrosurgery, surgical removal, laser surgery, and dermabrasion.