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Skin Growths and Spots

There are many types of benign skin growths and below are some of the more common examples. Sometimes, skin cancer may be mistaken as normal skin spot. Do consult a dermatologist to have a proper clinical evaluation.

Multiple age related seborrheic keratosis

Multiple age-related seborrheic keratoses

Seborrheic Keratosis

Seborrheic keratosis is non-cancerous growth. They are usually brown but can vary from light brown to black. They vary in size from a few millimetres in diameter to larger than 10 millimetres. Their main feature is the waxy, “pasted-on” or “stuck-on” appearance.

They become more common and more numerous with advancing age and hence they are also commonly known as age spots.

Because they may grow larger over the years, removal is sometimes recommended especially if they itch, get irritated, or bleed easily. A seborrheic keratosis may turn black and may be difficult to distinguish from skin cancer at times. Hence, a biopsy is needed to help determine if it is cancerous or not. Otherwise, they can be easily removed with laser or cautery.

Actinic Keratosis

Actinic keratosis is also called solar keratosis. They are caused by the sun; hence, the face, hands, forearms, and the V of the neck are the most common areas for actinic keratosis. Actinic keratosis is pre-cancerous, which means they may become skin cancers. Do seek help early with a dermatologist in order to get rid of these pre-cancerous lesions.

Sebaceous Hyperplasia

Sebaceous hyperplasia is a common, benign overgrowth of the oil glands in adults of middle age or older. It consists of creamy pink or yellow-coloured spots, usually occurring on the forehead, cheeks and nose. These spots can be treated with cryotherapy, cautery or laser treatment. But they tend to recur unless the entire unit is mechanically destroyed.

Benign Fibrous Histiocytoma

Benign fibrous histiocytomas is a common benign fibrous skin growth consisting of a firm, smooth, often hyperpigmented lump occurring on the limbs, especially in females. They can be removed by minor surgery.


Syringoma at the lower eyelid

Syringomas at the lower eyelid

Syringomas are benign growths of the sweat glands seen usually around the eyes. They usually appear as fleshed-coloured spots and are more common in women. They may be removed by minor surgery or laser surgery. In most patients, the result is acceptable and satisfactory! But one should be aware that syringomas may recur and sometimes small scar may result.


Milia are 1-2 mm white or yellow spots that appear commonly on the cheeks and eyelids. They can be easily removed without leaving any scars.


Xanthelasma occurs as raised yellow patches on or around the eyelids and they are actually cholesterol-laden deposits. They may be removed by minor surgery or laser surgery.  Several treatment sessions may be necessary before the xanthelasma is completely cleared. They can regrow so the tendency of recurrence is quite high.

Skin Tags

Skin tags usually occur as multiple small (1-2mm) soft skin growths with a connective tissue stalk. Patients often request their removal for cosmetic reasons, or after they have been irritated by jewellery around the neck, or have become inflamed following twisting on their stalk. Their removal is usually quite straightforward with cautery or laser surgery.

Dr Wong Soon Tee is a MOH accredited Dermatologist for more than 20 years. Consult Dr Wong for accurate diagnosis & effective treatment now. Call Assurance Skin Clinic at +65 6694 1121 for an appointment.

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