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Skin "bumps"

The skin contains numerous appendages such as hair follicles, sweat ducts, oil glands, muscles attached to each hair follicle, etc. Read more...

 

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Our skin is simply not smooth like a wall. The skin contains numerous appendages such as hair follicles, sweat ducts, oil glands, muscles attached to each hair follicle, etc. Each of these structures plays an overall role in how the skin functions as an organ. They can also impact how the skin feels.


Normal skin has bumps, right? Please discuss.

Normal skin has "bumps" however each bump is not necessarily the same. Some may be hair follicles that are more prominent, some may be oil glands that have enlarged, some may be sweat ducts that are inflamed, and there may be simply clogged pores.


 


 

Some skin bumps are harmless, while others might require some dermatologic intervention. Can you discuss this?

Distinguishing between the various bumps on our skin is my full-time job as a dermatologist. There are numerous benign bumps including moles, keratoses, hair bumps, etc. However, some skin cancers can present as a bump, nodule, or pimple that won’t heal.


What are some types of skin bumps someone should never try to pop?



If the bump on your skin is something you feel as under the surface, like a marble stuck under a rug, our fingernails may be inclined to try to pop these. Often, you may have the impression these are close to the surface but they may not be. It is better to have these evaluated before messing with them.


If something looks like a pimple but doesn’t behave like a pimple, don’t pop it. If a pimple lasts for weeks and doesn’t go away on its own, be sure to have your dermatologist evaluate it to verify it is not a basal cell carcinoma or another type of skin cancer.


Bumps that appear to be ingrown hair often feel as though they can be ‘extracted’. It is better to wait for these to come to the surface or see your doctor for some help. I often find people dig quite a bit to get these out which can result in scarring.




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