Growth/Skin Tag Removal: Further Information

Skin Irregularities
Skin growths are accumulations of various types of cells that look different than the surrounding skin. They may be raised or flat and range in color from dark brown or black to flesh-colored to red. Skin growths may be present at birth or develop later.

The information provided in this topic skin irregularity is for educational purposes only. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. If you have a specific question or concern about a skin lesion or disease, please consult a dermatologist.

Skin Tags
Skin tags are soft, small, harmless, flesh-colored or slightly darker skin growths that are most commonly found on the neck, the armpits, or the trunk.
They may appear elsewhere on the body, as well. The cause is unknown, but they commonly appear after middle age. They begin as small fleshy brown spots and may grow on a small stalk or stem. Skin tags never turn into skin cancer. The tendency to develop skin tags appear to be inherited (genetic). Some women develop skin tags during pregnancy.
Usually, skin tags cause no trouble, but they may be unattractive, and clothing or nearby skin may rub and irritate them so that they bleed or hurt.
A skin tag can be removed if it becomes irritated, bleeds, or causes embarrassment.

Dermatofibromas are small red-to-brown bumps (nodules) that result from an accumulation of collagen, which is a protein made by the cells (fibroblasts) that populate the soft tissue under the skin. Dermatofibromas are common and usually appear as single firm bumps, often on the legs, particularly in women. Some people develop many dermatofibromas. Causes include trauma, insect bites, and cuts caused by shaving. They are harmless and usually do not cause any symptoms, except for occasional itching. Usually, dermatofibromas are not treated unless they become bothersome or enlarge.
Seborrheic keratoses are flesh-colored, brown, or black growths that can appear anywhere on the skin.
These harmless growths are very common in middle-aged and older people. Some people have a hundred or more. Although these growths can appear anywhere, they most often appear on the torso and the temples.
Seborrheic keratoses are round or oval and vary in size from less than inch to several inches. They appear to be stuck on the skin and often have a waxy or scaly surface. These growths develop slowly. They are not cancerous and do not become so. Dark brown keratoses may sometimes be mistaken for atypical mole or melanomas.
Treatment is not needed unless the keratoses become irritated or itchy or are cosmetically undesirable.

Cherry Angiomas (Ruby Spots)
Cherry angiomas (ruby spots) are harmless clusters of dilated tiny blood vessels (capillaries) that become more common after age 30. The cause is unknown.

Cherry angiomas do not generally require any treatment but they can be removed by different methods if their appearance causes embarrassment or distress.

Flat Hyper pigmentation
Hyperpigmentation is a common, usually harmless condition in which patches of skin become darker in color than the normal surrounding skin. This darkening occurs when an excess of melanin, the brown pigment that produces normal skin color, forms deposits in the skin. Hyperpigmentation can affect the skin color of people of any race.

Age or “liver” spots are a common form of hyperpigmentation. They occur due to sun damage, and are referred to by doctors as solar lentigines. These small, darkened patches are usually found on the hands and face or other areas frequently exposed to the sun.

Changes in skin color can result from outside causes. For example, skin diseases such as acne may leave dark spots after the condition clears.

Freckles are small brown spots that can appear anywhere on the body, but are most common on the face and arms. Freckles are an inherited characteristic. Freckles, age spots, and other darkened skin patches can become darker or more pronounced when skin is exposed to the sun. This happens because melanin absorbs the energy of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays in order to protect he skin from overexposure. The usual result of this process is skin tanning, which tends to darken areas that are already hyperpigmented.

Cholesterol Deposit
Cholesterol Deposit or Xanthomas are fatty deposits that build up under the skin. Anyone can develop a cholesterol bump, but they are most common on the elderly and people with high blood cholesterol levels, according to the National Institutes of Health. A xanthoma can develop anywhere on the body, but they are commonly found on the elbows, knees, hands, feet, joints, tendons and buttocks. When a cholesterol bump forms on an eyelid, it is called xanthelasma palpebra. This condition is not typically associated with high cholesterol levels.

Dilated Capillaries
They are thread veins are capillaries that may have ruptured. They can occur at any age and affect any skin type, not just dry and sensitive skins. They occur most frequently on the cheeks, the bridge and sides of the nose, under the eyes and on the chin. They are caused by sun damage, alcohol, drinking very hot drinks such as tea or coffee, eating spicy food, high blood pressure, exposure to harsh weather conditions and steroid products applied on the skin.

Sebaceous Hyperplasia
Sebaceous hyperplasia is a disorder of the sebaceous glands in which they become enlarged producing yellow, shiny bumps on the face. These bumps are a natural response to the maternal hormones of pregnancy and usually resolve on their own within a few weeks after delivery.
Sebaceous glands are glands located within the skin, and are responsible for secreting an oily substance named sebum. They are commonly associated with hair follicles but they can be found in hairless regions of the skin as well. Their secretion lubricates the skin, protecting it from drying out or becoming irritated.
Sebaceous hyperplasia generally affects newborns as well as middle-aged to elderly adults. The symptoms of this condition are 1-5 mm papules on the skin, mainly on the forehead, nose and cheeks, and facial skin.

Spider Naevi
A spider nevus consists of a central arteriole with radiating thin-walled vessels. Compression of the central vessel produces blanching and temporarily obliterates the lesion. When released, the threadlike vessels quickly refill with blood from the central arteriole. The ascending central arteriole resembles a spider’s body, and the radiating fine vessels resemble multiple spider legs. The name stems from its physical appearance, which is characterized by a central red arteriole, or punctum, representing the body of the spider, surrounded by a radial pattern of thin-walled capillaries, resembling legs.

The common name for milia is milk bumps or oil seeds due to their appearance as they form on the skin. They look like small white bumps that resemble millet seeds.
Milia are dead skin cells trapped within the surface tissues of the nose, cheeks and chin or inside the mouth. It is not a form of acne, though the bumps may become inflamed and resemble acne. The condition is very common in infants but can also occur in adults. Another common name is Epstein’s pearls. There is no known way to prevent the occurrence of milia. In infants, cysts usually resolve on without any treatment. Adults may choose to have them removed for cosmetic appearance sake.

Acne Pimples
A pimple is a kind of acne, and one of the many results of excess oil clogging the pores. An inflamed acne lesion presenting as a red bump on the skin with a white top or head consisting of pus, oil, and cell debris. Pustules occur when there is a high break in the follicle wall, white blood cells invade, and pus is formed. It often follows a papule. A pustule is what most people consider a typical pimple.

Clogged Pores
There are many tiny pores on the skin, which are actually outlets of sebaceous glands, also known as oil glands. The highest number of oil glands are found on the face, chest and back. The face is the most exposed part of the body and it has to encounter many problems like pollution, dust, heat, etc. which result in clogged pores thus leading to the formation of acne. Clogged pores are a common skin problem that give rise to acne and other undesirable skin conditions like milia, the benign keratin filled cysts which appear under the skin on the roof of the mouth. When dirt, sweat and oil get accumulated in these pores, they result in the clogging of pores and cause pimples. Clogged pores can appear on any part of the body, but are more prominent on the face.There are two types of clogged pores – blackheads and whiteheads. Blackheads are partially clogged pores that are usually filled with oils, makeup and dirt. Whiteheads are a severe type and are completely clogged. They are embedded deep in the skin and cause cysts and nodules leading to severe acne. The area around the nose and skin are abundant in oil glands. So, large number of clogged pores are concentrated in these areas, especially on the nose.

Hair Follicle
Hair follicle is a part of the skin that grows hair by cramping old cells tightly. Attached to the follicle is a sebaceous gland, a tiny sebum-producing gland found everywhere except on the palms, lips and soles of the feet. The thicker the density of the hair, the more the number of sebaceous glands that are found.
Also attached to the follicle is a tiny bundle of muscle fiber called the arrector pili that is responsible for causing the follicle lissis to become more perpendicular to the surface of the skin, and causing the follicle to protrude slightly above the surrounding skin (piloerection) and a pore encased with skin oil. This process results in goose bumps (or goose flesh). Stem cells are located at the junction of the erector and the follicle, and are principally responsible for the ongoing hair production during a process known as the Anagen stage.
At the base of the follicle is a large structure that is called the papilla. The papilla is made up mainly of connective tissue and a capillary loop. Cell division in the papilla is either rare or non-existent.