Cysts, Lumps, Bumps, and Your Skin
What Are the Symptoms of a Keratoacanthoma?
Keratoacanthomas are rapidly growing, red, dome-shaped bumps with central craters. Some keratoacanthomas can grow to extremely large sizes, occasionally 1 to 3 inches in diameter.
How Are Keratoacanthomas Treated?
Keratoacanthomas can be removed by:
- Cryotherapy (freezing the growth with liquid nitrogen)
- Curettage (scraping and burning off the growth)
- Surgical removal
- Injection of a cancer drug directly into the lesion
Keratosis Pilaris and Your Skin
Keratosis pilaris (commonly called KP) appears as "chicken skin bumps" on the skin. These bumps usually appear on the upper arms and thighs. They also can appear on the cheeks, back, and buttocks. Keratosis pilaris, while unattractive, is harmless.
What Are the Symptoms of Keratosis Pilaris?
This disorder appears as small, rough bumps. The bumps are usually white or red, but do not itch or hurt. Keratosis pilaris is usually worse during the winter months or other times of low humidity when skin becomes dry. It also may worsen during pregnancy or after childbirth.
How Is Keratosis Pilaris Treated?
Although the condition may remain for years, it gradually improves before age 30 in most cases. Treatment of keratosis pilaris is not medically necessary; but, individuals with this condition may want to seek treatment for cosmetic reasons.
The initial treatment of keratosis pilaris should be intensive moisturizing. A cream such as AmLactin or LadHydrin can be applied after bathing, and then re-applied several times a day. Other treatments may include:
- Medicated creams containing urea (Carmol-20) or alpha-hydroxy acids (Aqua Glycolic, Lacticare) applied twice daily
- Efforts to unplug pores by taking long, hot soaking tub baths and then rubbing and exfoliating the areas with a coarse washcloth or stiff brush
Lipomas and Your Skin
Lipomas are subcutaneous soft tissue tumors that usually are slow-growing and are harmless. They have a soft, rubbery consistency. Lipomas tend to form on the trunk, shoulders, neck, but can appear elsewhere on the body.
What Are the Symptoms of Lipomas?
Lipomas can appear as solitary nodules or in groups. Most lipomas are less than 5 cm in diameter and have no symptoms, but they can cause pain when they compress nerves.
How Are Lipomas Treated?
Lipomas are not removed unless there is a cosmetic concern, a compression of surrounding structures, or an uncertain diagnosis. Lipomas generally do not infiltrate into surrounding tissue so they can be removed easily by excision.
An alternative to standard excision is to manually squeeze the lipoma through a small incision. This technique is useful in areas with thin dermis, such as the face and extremities. Liposuction-assisted lipectomy also can be used to remove large lipomas with minimal scarring.
Neurofibromas and Your Skin
Neurofibromas are soft, fleshy growths that occur on or under the skin, sometimes even deep within the body. These are harmless tumors; however, they can turn malignant or cancerous in rare cases.