Fortunately, most skin lesions are benign and do not develop into skin cancer. However, they can still become a nuisance and negatively impact your appearance. If you’re bothered by unwanted lumps or bumps on your face or body, Dr. Ritchie Younger can remove these growths to enhance the beauty of your skin. As one of Vancouver’s leading facial plastic surgeons, he has the skills and experience to achieve exceptional results with little to no downtime or scarring.
What are Benign Skin Growths?
Benign skin growths are non-cancerous lesions or discolorations that can occur almost anywhere on the body. This includes moles, cysts or skin tags. Skin growths may be present from birth or develop as we get older, especially due to factors like injury, illness or sun damage. There are many different types of skin growths, but some of the more common ones that we treat at Younger Facial Surgery Centre include:
- Cysts — Abnormal, sac-like lumps that form beneath the skin and contain fluid, tissue, keratin or other materials. Most cysts are harmless, but they may become infected and produce symptoms such as pain, swelling, itching or tenderness.
- Lipomas — Small, slow-growing fatty lumps that develop in soft tissues, often situated between the skin and underlying muscle. Lipomas are usually painless and most frequently appear on the neck, shoulders, back or armpits.
- Moles — Common skin growths composed of melanocytes (pigmented cells) that appear as small, dark spots on the body. Most moles are harmless, but rapid changes in size, shape or colour may be an indicator of melanoma.
- Warts — Rough, skin-coloured bumps that are caused by a viral skin infection. Warts are contagious and commonly affect the hands, feet and face.
- Skin tags — Small, soft pieces of skin that protrude outward like a short stalk. They often develop in creases and can be flesh-coloured or brown in appearance.
- Seborrheic keratoses — Skin growths that look similar to moles but are composed of keratinocytes and tend to be rougher, waxier or patchier in appearance. While harmless, they’re sometimes mistaken for warts or melanoma.
- Keloids — An overgrowth of scar tissue that forms at wound sites due to an abnormal healing response. They are thick, raised and fibrous, but hard to treat as excision may cause even more to develop in the same area.
Not all benign skin growths require treatment, but those that are located in visible areas or causing discomfort can be removed to improve your appearance. To ensure the best cosmetic results, Dr. Younger will evaluate your skin and utilize techniques that minimize scarring. If any growths look suspicious, he may recommend further testing to determine malignancy.
Benign Skin Growth Treatment
If you have an unwanted skin growth you’d like to remove, the right treatment option may vary depending on its size and location. Different techniques are also used depending on the type of lesion. Below are some of the procedures we perform to eliminate benign skin growths.
Surgical excision can effectively remove several types of benign skin growths, including skin tags, moles, lipomas and more. This technique involves surgically cutting out the lesion and some of the surrounding tissue to prevent recurrence. The wound is then closed using small sutures. When performed correctly, excision can result in minimal scarring.
Shave excision can be used for superficial moles, warts and other benign lesions. It involves repetitive, horizontal slicing to shave off the growth without cutting into the skin. This technique results in less scarring than surgical excision, but recurrence is more common.
Cyst removal is a minor procedure that utilizes a small incision to drain the growth and remove the sac within. Then, small sutures will be used to close the hole. This procedure usually leaves behind a small, smooth scar that is barely noticeable.
Steroid injections can treat certain skin lesions and reduce pain, inflammation or swelling. Dr. Younger may use this technique if excision is not a good option due to the risk of scarring.
Dr. Younger performs scar revision to lessen the appearance of large, unsightly or unwanted scars. Depending on the type of scar, he may recommend surgical excision to eliminate excess scar tissue or the use of steroid injections to flatten keloid and hypertrophic scars. Dermal fillers like Restylane® can also be used to fill in depressed scars.
Should I Be Concerned About Abnormal Skin Growths?
Skin growths are a common occurrence and usually harmless. However, if you’re worried about a suspicious lesion or have noticed changes in size, shape or colour, it’s essential to have it examined by a dermatologist to establish an accurate diagnosis. Dr. Younger may recommend this step prior to removal as malignant growths might require a different treatment approach, such as the inclusion of radiation, chemotherapy or targeted drugs. Fortunately, when caught early, skin cancers are highly curable and less likely to spread to other tissues.
Book a Consultation
If you’ve noticed unwanted lumps or bumps on your skin that negatively affect your appearance, we can help. In most cases, benign skin lesions can be easily removed with minimal downtime or scarring. To learn more about your treatment options or book a consultation with Vancouver’s leading facial plastic surgery expert, contact or call the Younger Facial Surgery Centre today at 604-265-9730.