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Benign mass of the skin

Types of benign mass of the skin

Unlike malignant tumours, benign mass does not invade tissues and metastasise. There are many different types of benign mass of the skin, some of the most common being lipoma, steatocystoma, and epidermal cyst.

Treatment of benign mass of the skin

Lipoma is the most common soft tissue mass among those derived from the mesoderm. Lipoma can be classified as intramuscular lipoma, and intermuscular lipoma, depending on its location. Recurrence can be prevented by excising the mass, along with the capsule surrounding the fat. If, however, it grows very quickly in size then it has to be checked for liposarcoma (malignant). 

Epidermal cyst is a smooth, dome-shaped subcutaneous swelling with fluctuations. Sometimes it is attached to the skin via a central hair pouch, Epidermal cysts can burst either spontaneously or by external force. Abnormally large epidermal cysts are called giant atheromas, which need differentiation with malignancy. If inflamed or recurred, the epidermal cyst needs to be surgically removed. As for cysts, the contents can be emptied first, then the wall can be removed through a small incision. If pus and blood are found, the cyst is incised and drained first, and is them completely excised 1-2 weeks afterwards.

Steatocystoma is a benign mass derived from skin appendages. It is usually small (2-20 mm) but sometimes the diameter can reach several centimetres. It is usually translucent, and contains a yellow and oily fluid inside. Sometimes there is a spot in the centre and may contain hair. It can leave a scar as it gets inflamed and resolved, like an acne. When inflamed the pain worsens and the diameter can reach up to 4-6 cm. The area around the cyst can redden and become painful to touch, making every day life uncomfortable. Treatment options include excision, cryotherapy, and laser.

There are many different types of benign skin masses. Please book an appointment to find out more.

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