Boils, Cysts, Ingrown Hairs, and 11 Other Skin Mysteries Explained

Boils, Cysts, Ingrown Hairs, and 11 Other Skin Mysteries Explained

Poof! A mysterious lump or bump appears on your body. What is it? How long has it been there? It's impossible to ask Dr. Google about a "lump on skin" and not lose your mind, but many times these lumps and bumps are nothing to lose sleep over.

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dermatologyPhoto Credit: Shutterstock

Is it a keloid?

Trying to figure out what bumps on skin can be hard. Keloids occur when scar tissue grows excessively, explains Gary Goldenberg, MD, a dermatologist and an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. They often form around a wound or incision, but they may appear after a bad bout of acne. "Keloids are red, raised and can be itchy or painful," he says. They're more common in darker skin and often show up on the ears, chest, face or back. Many different treatments work alone or together to improve keloid scarring including steroid injections to flatten the scar, cryosurgery to freeze the scar tissue so it sloughs off, laser resurfacing, and surgery, he says. "You do need realistic expectations about how much keloid scarring can be improved with any treatment."

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skintagphotosthai/shutterstock

Is it a skin tag?

Skin tags are exactly what they sound like—tiny, soft skin-coloured growths, Dr. Goldenberg says. "They often develop around the eyelids, armpits, groin or other areas that are easily rubbed or irritated." Medically known as acrochordons, skin tags are more common if you are overweight, pregnant, or have diabetes. They're also a normal sign of aging skin. They are not harmful in any way, shape or form, he says. "If they bother you, a doctor can freeze, laser, or snip them off."

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hiveJana Kollarova/shutterstock

Is it a hive?

Do your bumps on skin itch like crazy? Tend to come and go? Get worse at night? If so, it could be a hive, Dr. Goldenberg says. Also known as urticaria, hives are usually a result of an allergy. Viruses can cause hives too, but many times hives are idiopathic in nature, meaning that there is no known cause. This can be extremely frustrating and vexing, he says. "If you know you break out in hives when you eat a certain food or are exposed to a specific chemical, avoid those triggers," he says. Over-the-counter antihistamines such as Benadryl can also help curb the itching. Talk to your doctor about the best treatment for you.

Boils, Cysts, Ingrown Hairs, and 11 Other Skin Mysteries Explained, Source:https://www.besthealthmag.ca/best-looks/skin/lumps-bumps-on-skin-explained/

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