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Cysts, Lumps, Bumps, and Your Skin

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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.

What Are the Symptoms of Neurofibromas?

The symptoms of neurofibromas may vary, depending on the locations and the sizes of the tumors. Symptoms can include: 

  • A painless, slow-growing mass
  • Occasional pain
  • Electric-like "shock" when the affected area is touched
  • Neurological problems if the tumor involves a major motor or sensory nerve or a nerve that is compressed between the tumor and a hard structure
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