Lumps & bumps

Lumps & bumps

Dr Gabriella
Diaz

Sunday, August 09, 2020

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EVER wondered about that lump or bump that suddenly appeared on your skin?

Let's explore a few of these conditions.

Lipomas

These are soft tissue, slow-growing benign fatty tumours. Their nature is usually non-tender, soft and fluctuant.

After being present for many years, there is a one per cent chance that these lesions can become cancerous; usually after decades. They may appear in various regions of the body and sometimes even inside your gut. However, when they occur on the face, bottom or any other body region where it may affect choice of clothes, it can be disruptive.

At times it may make one self-conscious. An increase in size over time and with weight gain is possible. Even after weight loss, the size does not revert to its original size. The aetiology remains uncertain although it is thought that there may be a genetic component.

They can be removed with a minimally invasive surgery and some more novel approaches may involve injections to break down the fat.

Dermatosis papulosa nigra

These are non-cancerous growths that may appear on the face, neck, back, and upper chest. They usually increase in size and number as the individual gets older.

On a positive note, there is no known progression to cancer.

Think of actor Morgan Freeman's characteristic freckles and you will get the picture! Individuals of African descent are more prone to this condition. Like for lipomas, there is no known cause.

Occasionally, there is a positive family history. The option to leave them alone is safe. If one wants them removed, it is best not to treat too aggressively as post-operative hyperpigmentation, hypopigmentation or keloids may follow.

Polydactyly

This is the presence of an extra digit on the hand or foot that is not fused with another digit.

It is a common genetic anomaly, especially among people of African descent. It can be reliably detected via ultrasound evaluation by the 13th week of pregnancy.

Not all types of polydactyly are associated with anomalies in the other body systems. However, once established, a thorough evaluation of the remaining body systems is to be completed.

This is quite a common phenomenon in Jamaica and the extra digit is usually seen next to the pinky finger or small toe. When the extra digits appear in the aforementioned regions, they are unlikely to be associated with other congenital anomalies. There is a strong genetic predisposition. Usually if any of the parents had extra digits, their children are likely to possess the same traits.

Most of them just involve a skin tag which can be easily removed within the first month or as early as the first few days of life. Rarely there may be a fusion of bone and that will delay treatment for a later age in childhood.

Dr Gabriella Diaz is a medical aesthetics doctor and registered dietitian who is the director at Finesse Nutrition and Esthetics (FINE) at 129 Pro, 129 Old Hope Road, Kingston 6. She can be contacted via e-mail at fine.infoja@gmail.com and 876-522-8297.


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