When you notice a growth on your skin, it can be alarming and distressing as it could be uncomfortable and unsightly. At Coastal Dermatology & Medspa, board-certified dermatologist Sanjiva Goyal, MD, diagnoses, treats, and manages skin growths at the offices in Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. These growths are usually benign. But your provider watches for signs of cancerous or precancerous lesions. Call today or use the online tool to book an appointment if you’re bothered by skin growths.
Skin growths are lumps of tissue that project outward from the surrounding skin. These growths can be benign, like warts or moles, or cancerous. A medical evaluation helps determine which type it is and which treatment you need.
There are many types of harmless skin growths. Some of the most common include:
Moles are common, with most people having 10-40 moles on their bodies. Most are harmless and develop when the pigment cells in your skin grow in a cluster, but some moles can turn cancerous. If a mole is cosmetically bothersome or rubs uncomfortably against jewelry or clothes, you can choose to have it removed.
Warts develop when a strain of the human papillomavirus (HPV) enters a tear in your skin. HPV triggers extra cell growth, causing skin thickening in a localized spot. Warts most commonly appear on the hands and feet.
HPV is highly contagious, so warts spread easily from one person to another. In many cases, they go away on their own, but they can be bothersome and unattractive.
Seborrheic keratosis is marked by benign small brown or black lesions that most often appear on the shoulders, face, chest, or back. They’re often mistaken for warts. These growths don’t require treatment unless you find them aesthetically displeasing.
If you notice a change in a mole’s shape, color, or texture, it could indicate a cancerous growth. If you see a sudden increase in the number of moles on your body, bring it to the attention of the Coastal Dermatology & Medspa team.
The ABCDE guide is an easy way to identify moles that might be cancerous:
Normal moles are evenly shaped. Asymmetry, meaning the two halves are different shapes, is a sign of a possibly cancerous growth.
When the edges of a mole are irregular, blurred, or jagged, it could indicate cancer. Normal moles have smooth borders.
A cancerous mole can change colors or have differing shades of brown, black, and pink.
A mole that grows or is larger than six millimeters (about a quarter of an inch) wide should be evaluated.
During your regular self-checks, take note of any moles that change in shape, size, or color. Also note when a mole’s characteristics change — for example, they become itchy, crusty, or bleed.
Call Coastal Dermatology & Medspa or use the online tool to book an appointment today.