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Benign Growths


What is it?

  • A benign skin lesion is any non-cancerous skin growth.

  • There are hundreds of potential benign appearing lesions that may grow on our skin - often it takes a trained Dermatologist to be able to identify if these lesions are harmless or potential harmful. 

  • Common lesions include:

    • Seborrheic keratoses (age spots)​

    • Solar lentigo (sun spots)

    • Skin tags

    • Moles

    • Angiomas (red spots)

    • Syringomas (skin coloured lesions around the eyes)

    • Sebaceous hyperplasia (enlarged oil glands)

    • Xanthelasma (cholesterol deposits around the eyes)

    • Cysts

    • Dermatofibromas (scar like lesions on legs)

    • Scars (Keloids and hypertrophic scars)

    • Milia

    • Venous lakes (purple lesions on lips)

    • and the list goes on!


What are the symptoms?

  • Often benign lesions are asymptomatic but may get itchy from time to time.   Moreso, they are often more a cosmetic nuisance.


Do I need to do any tests as part of the diagnosis?

  • In most cases the answer is NO as they tend to be a clinical diagnosis

  • Occasionally your doctor will look more closely with a light that can magnify the skin. 

  • If there are suspicious features sometimes a skin biopsy is done to rule out skin cancer.


What are the treatment options available?

  • Skin lesions should NEVER be treated with laser or cosmetic treatments unless the person doing so is well trained to identify the differences between benign and malignant lesions such as a Dermatologist.  Many lesions may mimic various types of skin cancer!

  • Typically skin lesions can be left alone if not bothersome - or they may be treated, however this is rarely covered by our public health care system as everyone has some of these benign skin lesions!   Hence, there is often a fee for cosmetic purposes for removal.

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