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Lumps and Bumps

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Lumps and Bumps: Know your skin

Your skin is your first line of defense against a wide range of bacteria, viruses, and diseases. So when you find color changes, bumps, lumps, moles, warts, or flaky or crusty patches, you might want to know what’s going on.

Joshua Fox, MD, spokesman for the American Academy of Dermatology and the American Society of Dermatologic Surgery, helps to clarify what we need to know about skin changes:

  • Moles: Most people are aware of the need to examine moles that appear throughout life and are most often harmless. Check for new changes that occur, particularly in parts of the skin exposed to sunlight. The most suspicious moles for skin cancer are usually larger, more irregular in shape and/or color. Check yourself regularly for anything unusual, and ask your doctor to check any moles that concern you.
  • Warts: Warts are common growths that occur on various parts of the body as a result of the human papilloma virus (HPV). Warts can go away on their own. But some people have their doctors remove warts because they look bad or become irritated.
  • Skin tags: Skin tags are an annoying type of growth that about half of all people develop as they age. These are small pieces of hanging flesh that develop in areas prone to rubbing against clothing or other skin. You may find them on moist areas such as the upper thighs, underarms, neck, and under women’s breasts from underwire bras. Another common site is the eyelid. A skin specialist can remove these if they are painful, irritating, bleeding, infected, or often caught in clothing.

Lumps and Bumps: Know your skin was also published in National Physical Fitness & Sports Month Newsletter – Download Here (Require PDF reader to view)

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