Skin lumps are any areas of abnormally raised skin. It is either on the skin’s surface or protruding from under the skin. Lumps on your skin although mostly non-cancerous, can be itchy, painful, or merely a nuisance and they tend to get more widespread with age.

A person with a skin lesion has an abnormal lump, bump, ulcer or sore. A skin lesion may also be an abnormally colored area on the skin. Common skin lesions include moles, warts, actinic keratosis, and skin infections. A serious cause of skin lesions is skin cancer.

The lumps may be hard and rigid or soft and moveable, and are commonly caused by swelling due to an injury. While skin lumps generally don’t indicate a dangerous medical condition, and usually don’t interfere with everyday life, they should be checked by a doctor to screen for malignancy.

Symptoms associated with skin lumps offer visual clues to the cause.

  • Epidermoid Cysts– It commonly appears on the face, chest and neck, appearing as white pustules. If your skin cyst is inflamed, painful, oozing, or interfering with your daily activities, consult your doctor or dermatologist.
  • Cherry Angiomas- These are common skin bump that usually starts appearing after the age 30. They are red in color and smooth and are usually painless blood vessels and rarely require treatment. They can be removed using laser surgery.
  • Dermatofibroma, or Fibrous Histiocytoma- Are brown, pink or yellow marks on the skin that usually form where the skin surface has been damaged, by a nick or bug bite. These skin bumps are usually just a cosmetic nuisance. They are neither cancer nor cyst.
  • Keratoacanthoma– Another non-cancer cyst that appears suddenly, grows quickly, and is more common in people who have had a lot of sun exposure.
  • Lipoma- These are soft, mushy lump under your skin. They may occur for a number of reasons, including prior injury to the area. There may also be a hereditary link behind it. Lipomas often strike people between the ages of 40 and 60. They aren’t dangerous and rarely require treatment.

Skin lumps can be caused by a number of health conditions that range in severity. They may be:

  • Trauma
  • Acne
  • Moles
  • Warts
  • Cysts
  • Corns
  • Folliculitis
  • Keratosis Pilaris
  • Epidermoid Cysts
  • Keratoacanthoma
  • Dermatofibromas
  • Cancerous Growths
  • Allergic Reactions, including Hives
  • Pockets of Infection, such as Abscesses and Boils


To diagnose skin lumps, your doctor may perform a physical examination. It’s important to determine what kind of skin lump you have to be treated properly.

Another procedure that can be used is biopsy. In this process, a small portion of the tissue will be scrape and send to the lab for testing.



Treatment varies depending upon the type of lesion. It may include:

  • Oral Corticosteroid Medications or Injections
  • Topical Medications
  • Laser Therapy
  • Freezing the Lesion
  • Antibiotic Medications- If your lump is caused by an infection.
  • Surgery

Skin lumps caused by injury. If that’s the case, it usually fade on their own as the swelling goes down. Applying an ice pack and elevating the area can reduce inflammation and ease pain.

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