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Pictures of Non-Cancerous Skin Growths

March 27, 2024
Piction Health

Non-cancerous skin growths are a common occurrence and can vary in appearance and characteristics. Understanding these growths is crucial for proper identification and management. In this article, we will explore different types of non-cancerous skin growths, their causes, identification methods, and available treatment options.

Understanding Non-Cancerous Skin Growths

Non-cancerous skin growths, also known as benign skin lesions, are abnormal tissue growths that develop on the skin's surface. These growths are usually harmless and don't pose any significant health risks. However, they can be visually undesirable or cause discomfort, highlighting the importance of proper identification and management.

When it comes to non-cancerous skin growths, there is a wide range of types, each with distinct characteristics and appearances. Understanding these types can help in their identification and appropriate management. Let's explore some of the most common examples:


Moles are brown or black spots that can develop anywhere on the body and are typically harmless. They are a common occurrence and are usually present from birth or develop during childhood. Moles can vary in size, shape, and color. While most moles are harmless, it is important to keep an eye on any changes in size, shape, or color, as these could indicate a potential problem.


Warts are another type of non-cancerous skin growth caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). They are small, rough bumps that can appear on the hands, feet, or genital area. Warts are highly contagious and can spread through direct contact or by touching surfaces contaminated with the virus. Although warts are generally harmless, they can be bothersome and may require treatment to alleviate discomfort or prevent their spread.

Skin Tags

Skin tags are soft, hanging growths that often occur in skin folds, such as the neck, armpits, or groin area. They are benign and typically painless, but their presence can be bothersome, especially if they get caught on clothing or jewelry. Skin tags are more common in individuals who are overweight or have diabetes. While they pose no serious health risks, they can be removed for cosmetic reasons or if they cause irritation.

Causes and Risk Factors of Non-Cancerous Skin Growths

The causes of non-cancerous skin growths can vary depending on the specific type. Some are caused by viral infections, such as warts caused by HPV, while others are the result of genetic factors or hormonal changes, like moles. Understanding the underlying causes can help in their prevention and management.

While anyone can develop non-cancerous skin growths, certain risk factors may increase their likelihood. These include:

  • Age: Some types of non-cancerous skin growths, like moles, are more common in younger individuals, while others, such as skin tags, tend to occur more frequently with age.
  • Family History: Genetic factors can play a role in the development of certain types of non-cancerous skin growths. If you have a family history of moles or other skin lesions, you may be more prone to developing them.
  • Prolonged Sun Exposure: Excessive exposure to the sun's harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays can increase the risk of developing certain types of non-cancerous skin growths, such as moles and actinic keratoses.

It's important to note that while non-cancerous skin growths are generally harmless, it is always recommended to consult a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and management. They can provide guidance on monitoring any changes, recommend treatment options if necessary, and ensure your overall skin health.

Identifying Non-Cancerous Skin Growths

Accurate identification of non-cancerous skin growths is crucial for determining the appropriate management approach. By recognizing their distinct visual characteristics and understanding associated symptoms, individuals can seek timely medical advice or decide on necessary self-care measures.

When it comes to identifying non-cancerous skin growths, visual characteristics play a significant role. One common type of non-cancerous growth is moles. Moles often have a uniform color, regular borders, and a round or oval shape. They can range in size from small dots to larger, more noticeable spots on the skin. Some moles may even have hair growing from them, which is completely normal and not a cause for concern.

Another type of non-cancerous skin growth is warts. Warts can appear as small, fleshy bumps with rough surfaces. They are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) and can be contagious. Warts can occur on any part of the body, including the hands, feet, and even the genital area. While most warts are harmless and go away on their own over time, some may require medical intervention if they cause discomfort or interfere with daily activities.

Skin tags are yet another common type of non-cancerous growth. These small, flesh-colored flaps of skin can vary in size from a tiny speck to several centimeters. Skin tags are typically painless and benign, but they can be bothersome if they rub against clothing or jewelry. They often occur in areas where the skin folds, such as the neck, armpits, or groin.

Physical Symptoms Associated with Non-Cancerous Skin Growths

In addition to visual cues, non-cancerous skin growths can sometimes cause physical symptoms. Itching is a common symptom experienced by individuals with certain types of growths. The itchiness can be mild or intense, depending on the person and the specific growth. Scratching the affected area may provide temporary relief but can also lead to further irritation or infection.

Bleeding is another symptom that can occur with non-cancerous skin growths. This is especially true for growths that are easily irritated or subjected to friction, such as skin tags or moles located in areas that come into contact with clothing or accessories. While minor bleeding is usually not a cause for concern, excessive or persistent bleeding should be evaluated by a healthcare professional.

Pain can also be associated with non-cancerous skin growths, particularly if they are irritated or inflamed. Skin growths that are constantly subjected to friction, such as those found in areas where skin rubs against skin or clothing, can become painful over time. In some cases, the pain may be sharp or throbbing, affecting daily activities and quality of life.

However, it's important to note that not all non-cancerous skin growths will cause discomfort or symptoms. Some may remain completely asymptomatic, making regular skin examinations crucial for early detection. By being aware of the visual characteristics and potential symptoms associated with non-cancerous skin growths, individuals can take proactive steps in managing their skin health.

Common Non-Cancerous Skin Growths

Let's take a closer look at some commonly encountered non-cancerous skin growths:

Moles and Their Appearance

Moles are a type of non-cancerous skin growth that usually develops in childhood or early adulthood. They can vary in color, size, and texture. Most moles are harmless, but any changes in color, shape, or size should be evaluated by a dermatologist.

Warts and Their Appearance

Warts are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV) and can appear on various body parts, including the hands, feet, and genital area. They may have a rough, cauliflower-like texture and a slightly elevated appearance. Seeking medical attention is important, as warts can be contagious and require appropriate treatment.

Skin Tags and Their Appearance

Skin tags are soft, flesh-colored growths that often occur in areas with skin folds or where clothing rubs against the skin. They are usually harmless but can be bothersome or affect self-confidence. Dermatologists can safely remove skin tags if desired.

Medical Evaluation of Non-Cancerous Skin Growths

While most non-cancerous skin growths are harmless, it's essential to seek medical advice when necessary. A dermatologist can provide a comprehensive evaluation and determine the appropriate management approach based on the specific characteristics of the growth.

When to Seek Medical Advice

If you notice any changes in color, shape, size, or symptoms associated with a non-cancerous skin growth, it is advisable to seek medical advice promptly. This is particularly important if a growth exhibits rapid enlargement, irregular borders, or other concerning features.

Diagnostic Procedures for Non-Cancerous Skin Growths

In order to diagnose non-cancerous skin growths accurately, dermatologists may employ various diagnostic procedures. These can include visual inspection, dermoscopy (using a specialized magnifying instrument), or even a skin biopsy if required.

Treatment and Management of Non-Cancerous Skin Growths

Non-cancerous skin growths can be managed through various treatment options, depending on the specific type and individual preferences. It's important to consult a dermatologist to discuss the most suitable approach for each case.

Non-Surgical Treatment Options

Non-surgical treatment options for non-cancerous skin growths may include topical medications, cryotherapy (freezing the growth), or laser therapy. These methods are often effective, minimally invasive, and can promote favorable cosmetic outcomes without significant downtime.

Surgical Treatment Options

In cases where non-cancerous skin growths are large, cause discomfort, or are cosmetically bothersome, surgical removal may be recommended. This can be performed by a dermatologist in an outpatient setting and usually requires only local anesthesia.

Home Care and Prevention Measures

While not all non-cancerous skin growths can be prevented, adopting good skincare practices can help promote overall skin health. This includes regular use of sunscreen, avoiding excessive sun exposure, and maintaining proper hygiene, such as drying skin folds thoroughly to prevent the formation of skin tags.

Seeking timely medical advice and appropriate treatment is crucial for managing non-cancerous skin growths effectively. If you have concerns or need expert guidance, consider reaching out to Piction Health's online dermatology care. Our experienced dermatologists can provide a comprehensive evaluation and recommend the most suitable management options tailored to your specific needs.