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Bumps and Benign Skin Growths

What Are Bumps and Benign Skin Growths?

Your skin is your body’s largest organ, a shield against heat, light, harmful bacteria, water loss, injuries and environmental hazards. Regardless of its ability to act as armor, it is still subject to a variety of bumps and benign (non-cancerous) growths.

Common skin conditions include moles, keloids, keratosis pilaris, folliculitis, boils, carbuncles and skin tags. It’s important to recognize marks on your skin and visit a dermatologist if you notice a new or suspicious bump or lesion.


Benign skin growth symptoms vary depending on the condition:

  • Moles – These are brown or black growths that appear on the skin. Over time, moles can become raised and even change color.
  • Keloid – This is a smooth, hardened scar that rises above the skin and spreads.
  • Keratosis pilaris – These small, scaly bumps usually appear on the upper arms, thighs and buttocks.
  • Folliculitis – These inflamed hair follicles are due to a bacterial or fungal infection. Clusters of small red bumps or white-headed pimples appear. Skin can itch or burn and feel tender or painful. Pus-filled blisters break open and become crusty.
  • Boils – These are red, tender bumps filled with pus that grow larger and more painful until they burst and drain. They usually appear on the face, neck, thighs, buttocks or armpits.
  • Carbuncle – This is a cluster of boils that causes a more serious skin infection and may induce fever and chills.
  • Skin tags – These are soft, skin-colored growths connected to the skin’s surface by a piece of tissue called a stalk. They typically appear on the neck, armpits, torso, beneath the breasts or in the genital area.

Treatment Options

Dermatologists treat bumps and benign skin growth using a variety of methods.

  • Surgery – Dermatologists can surgically remove keloids and skin tags. They can also open and drain boils and carbuncles.

  • Topical creams – Moisturizers containing a retinoid, urea, lactic acid, glycolic acid, salicylic acid or alpha hydroxy acid can help smooth the appearance of keratosis pilaris. Antibiotic creams and gels fight the infections caused by boils, carbuncles and folliculitis.
  • Oral medications – Antibiotics fight severe or recurrent skin infections.
  • Cryotherapy – Dermatologists can freeze warts using liquid nitrogen. The warts fall off in two to four weeks.

Ready for an Appointment?

If you're experiencing signs or symptoms of bumps & benign skin growths, schedule an appointment or call 800-TEMPLE-MED (800-836-7536) today.

Learn more about our doctors and care team who diagnose and treat bumps & benign skin growths.