Benign Skin Tumors

Overview of Benign Skin Tumors

Benign skin tumors are non-cancerous skin growths. These tumors occur due to the abnormal growth of skin cells. In contrast to malignant tumors, benign skin tumors are harmless. They feel smooth upon touch and move freely under the skin. These tumors do not spread far away from their growth point. Though benign tumors are harmless they can cause damage if they develop on blood vessels or nerves. Therefore, sometimes they have to be treated while in other cases these tumors disappear without any treatment.

Signs and Symptoms of Benign Skin Tumors

Not all tumors come up with symptoms, either cancerous or benign. Depending on the location tumors can affect the function of important organs or the senses. For example, if you have a benign tumor you might experience headaches, fuzzy memory, or vision trouble.
Depending on the location, possible symptoms of a tumor include:

  • Discomfort or pain
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Night sweats
  • Weight loss
  • Chills
  • Loss of appetite

Benign tumors are easy to track if they are large enough to detect, particularly if they are close to the skin surface. However, these aren't large enough to cause discomfort and pain.

Types of Benign Skin Tumors

Causes of Benign Skin Tumors

The exact cause of benign skin tumors is unknown but their growth can be associated with:

  • Exposure to radiation
  • Stress
  • Genetics and family history
  • Diet
  • Injury or trauma
  • Infection

Risk Factors of Benign Skin Tumors

Potential complications of skin cancer include:

  • Recurrence, where the tumor comes from.
  • Local recurrence, where the cancer cells spread to the surrounding area.
  • Metastasis is where the benign tumor turns into a malignant one and spreads to muscles, nerves, and other body organs.



Preventing skin cancer by protecting yourself completely requires a comprehensive approach. It is recommended to:

  • Seek the shade, especially between 10 am to 4 pm.
  • Don't get sunburned.
  • Cover up with clothing and a broad-brimmed hat.
  • Apply at least one ounce of sunscreen. Try to use broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every day.
  • Keep newborns out of the Sun.
  • Avoid tanning and never use UV tanning beds.


Benign Skin tumors are diagnosed in various ways depending upon the type of benign tumor. It is explained in the table below.

Treatment of Benign Skin Tumors | When to Consult a Doctor

In most cases, treatment is not required. But if the patient wants to remove, several surgical procedures are available such as:

  • Surgical Excision: In this method, growth is removed by cutting the skin off. Later, the wound is closed by stitches.
  • Cryosurgery: During this procedure, liquid nitrogen is used to freeze the tissues. It is either sprayed or directly applied to the skin.
  • Curettage and Electrodesiccation: In this method, a surgical instrument called a curette is used to scrape the tumor tissues. Further, bleeding is stopped by an electrosurgical unit.
  • After removal of the tumor, Tylenol or Aleve may be taken to relieve the pain.

It is important to treat skin tumors at the early stages because if the infection spreads, it can cause other skin problems. Seek medical care and consult an Oncologist if you have a rapidly changing rash and fever.