Bryn Mawr Dermatology

Villanova, PA | Collegeville, PA
Chesterbrook, PA

Why You Should See a Dermatologist for New or Existing Skin Growths


Over your lifetime, your skin may develop new skin growths. While most of these are not a cause for concern, it is important to visit your dermatologist to monitor these growths.

While this article spells out some important information about new or existing skin growths, and we highly recommend you read the full article, here are the key points we will focus on:

Table of Contents

Keep reading to learn more about this condition and when it is appropriate to see a dermatologist.

Skin Growths

Why Do I Get Skin Growths?

As you age, your skin may accumulate different spots or growths such as freckles, moles, and skin tags. Many of these spots are common and can be identified by a dermatologist. While dermatologists do not know the exact causes of all skin growths, many are caused by genetics, environmental factors, viruses, or even systemic diseases.

Malignant vs. Benign Skin Growths

There are two main types of skin growths: malignant and benign. Benign skin growths are not dangerous and usually do not turn into skin cancer. Malignant skin growths, otherwise known as skin cancers, may appear as new lesions or as changes in growths that have been present for years. Malignant and benign skin growths may differ in appearance but are usually hard to distinguish for the untrained eye. Benign skin growths usually have well-defined borders, even color throughout, and a symmetrical appearance. Malignant skin growths tend to have jagged or uneven borders, uneven color, or an asymmetrical appearance. They may also appear as spots that do not match any other spots on the skin, spots that do not heal, or spots that bleed more easily than the rest of the skin.

How Does a Dermatologist Diagnose a Skin Growth?

Dermatologists undergo many years of training that allow them to tell the difference between benign and malignant growths. Your dermatologist will start by conducting a physical examination of your skin to determine whether the growth is benign or not. If the growth is concerning, they will perform a biopsy of the spot, which will then be sent to the dermatopathologist to be analyzed under a microscope. This allows the doctor to provide an accurate diagnosis based on cellular structure rather than visual assessment.

Can Skin Growths Be Non-Cancerous?

Yes, many skin growths are non-cancerous, meaning that these growths are not dangerous or worrisome. Everyone will develop some type of skin growth over time, and oftentimes more benign growths will appear with age!

Common Types of Malignant Skin Growths

There are many types of malignant growths, including basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma, among many others. Malignant growths must be promptly treated as they can grow or spread to other tissue and organs. Fortunately, many malignant skin growths will not spread if they are caught early. If you notice a suspicious spot or growth, schedule an appointment with your dermatologist. He or she will evaluate any suspicious lesions and help you to better understand your risk factors.

When to See a Dermatologist

Schedule an appointment with your dermatologist if you notice any new changes to your skin. This includes moles or skin growths changing in shape, color, texture or size, or in some cases, becoming itchy, painful, or bothersome. Some moles and growths can turn into skin cancer, so it is important to regularly monitor your body for suspicious changes.

Schedule an Appointment with a Dermatologist Today

If you have a question about a spot or growth on your body, please Request an Appointment. During your consultation, our skilled dermatologists will evaluate your concerns and determine an ideal treatment plan for your specific case. Our Bryn Mawr office is beautifully equipped, so you’ll feel at home as soon as you walk in the door.

Get started today by calling our dermatology team at (610) 525-7800 or easily book an appointment online. We look forward to caring for you!

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