Two Tips for Those Who Have Just Found a Lump on Their Skin

Posted on: 28 December 2018

Discovering a new lump on your skin can be quite alarming. If this has just happened to you, you may find the tips below to be helpful.

Do not squeeze it or attempt to burst it

A lot of lumps that form on people's bodies are harmless cysts. These are sacs that are usually filled with fluid (such as water and pus) and that feel quite malleable when they are touched.

If the lump on your skin appears to be filled with some type of liquid and you suspect it might be a cyst, you may be tempted to squeeze it or even use a small needle to burst it. However, it is important to resist this temptation.

There are a number of reasons why it is best to leave this type of lump alone. Firstly, if you use some type of implement to break the sac and you have not sterilised this item or the cyst beforehand, there is a chance that bacteria or fungi could enter the open sac and cause an infection. If this should happen, you may need to take oral antibiotics or use a topical antibiotic cream to resolve this infection. Additionally, the infection may inflame the skin to the point where permanent pigmentation develops in this area.

Book an appointment with a doctor at your local medical centre

Most skin lumps are not life-threatening. However, there is a small chance that a lump that forms on your skin could contain cancerous cells.

If for example, the lump feels itchy and tender, has a scaly texture or is reddish in colour, then it could potentially be a form of cancer, such as squamous cell carcinoma or basal cell carcinoma.

This is why it is important to have the lump examined at your local medical centre soon after you discover it. At the centre, a doctor will visually examine the lump and ask questions about your medical history (to determine if you are at high risk of developing cancer).

After this, they may decide to biopsy the lump (i.e., extract a small amount of tissue from it). This tissue sample will be examined by a lab technician, who will use their expertise and lab equipment to determine if the tissue cells in the sample are cancerous.

If your lump is cancerous, getting it biopsied at your local medical centre straight away will ensure that you get diagnosed and receive the treatment you need as soon as possible. This, in turn, should increase your chances of fully recovering from this illness.


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