Skin Growths

What are skin growths?

Skin growths refer to abnormal or excessive growths of cells on the skin’s surface. These growths can appear as lumps, bumps, or patches and can vary in size, shape, colour, and texture. Skin growths can occur due to various reasons such as genetics, exposure to certain substances, infections, or underlying medical conditions.

 Common types of skin growth include moles , warts , skin tags , cysts, and lipomas. Moles are usually harmless, pigmented spots on the skin, while warts are caused by viral infections and appear as rough, raised growths. Skin tags are small, soft flesh-coloured growths that often occur in areas where the skin rubs against itself. Cysts are closed pockets of tissue filled with fluid or pus, while lipomas are noncancerous fatty tumours beneath the skin.


What causes skin growths?

Skin growths can be caused by various factors and the exact cause may depend on the specific type of growth. 

Some common causes of skin growths include:

  • Genetic factors: some skin growths, such as moles, can be inherited genetically. Certain genetic mutations or predispositions can increase the likelihood of developing some skin growths.
  • Viral infections: warts, for example, are caused by specific strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV). The virus can be transmitted through direct contact with an infected person or contaminated surfaces.
  • Hormonal changes: hormonal fluctuations during puberty, pregnancy, or menopause can contribute to the development of skin growths like acne or skin tags.
  • Sun exposure: prolonged and unprotected exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation can lead to the development of sunspots, actinic keratoses, and certain types of skin cancer.
  • Age: some skin growths, such as seborrheic keratoses or age spots, are more common with advancing age.
  • Trauma or irritation: skin growths can also arise as a response to repeated friction, pressure, or irritation on the skin.
age spots

What are the symptoms of skin growths?

Symptoms of skin growths include:

  •     Appearance of a raised bump or lesion on the skin
  •     Changes in colour or pigmentation of the skin
  •     Rough or scaly texture on the skin
  •     Itching or irritation of the affected area
  •     Pain or tenderness when touched or pressed
  •     Bleeding or oozing from the growth
  •     Rapid growth or enlargement of the skin growth
  •     Changes in shape or borders of the growth
  •     Ulceration or crusting on the surface of the growth

If you have any of the symptoms stated above, make an appointment with us for an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment.

Are skin growths painful?

The level of pain associated with skin growths varies depending on various factors. While some skin growths may not cause any discomfort or pain, others can be painful or tender to the touch.

Certain types of skin growths such as cysts or abscesses can cause pain due to inflammation or infection.


Who is at risk of skin growths in Singapore?

In Singapore, anyone can develop skin growths, but certain factors may increase the risk for their development. These factors include age, genetics, sun exposure, skin type, and/or certain medical conditions.

How are skin growths diagnosed?

If you have skin growths that concern you, it is essential to consult your dermatologist for a proper diagnosis. During the diagnostic process, your dermatologist will typically perform a visual examination of the skin growth and may ask questions about their appearance, any changes you have noticed, and your medical history.

Common methods used to diagnose skin growths include:

  • Dermatoscopy: this technique involves using a special magnifying instrument called a dermatoscope to examine skin growths in detail. It helps to evaluate the features and characteristics of the growths, aiding in the diagnosis process.
  • Biopsy: in certain cases, a biopsy may be performed to obtain a small sample of the skin growth for further examination under a microscope. A biopsy can help determine if the growth is benign or malignant.

What are the treatment options for skin growths in Singapore?

When it comes to the treatment of skin growths, there are various options available depending on the type, size, location, and characteristics of the growth.

Some methods of skin removal include:

  • Elliptical excision: the tissues are cut around the lesion to remove it completely. Depending on the depth of the lesion, the deeper layers may require suturing. The skin layer will be sutured as well. Usually done for moles, dermatofibroma, or neurofibroma.
  • Incisional excision: the tissue is cut within the lesion so as to minimise the scar length and improve the cosmetic outcome. Usually done for cysts and lipomas.
  • Shave excision: a lump excised flush with the skin. The bleeding is then controlled with electrocautery. Usually does not require any sutures. The scar will heal with depigmentation, which can take time to resolve.


How do you get rid of growths on your skin?

If you have noncancerous skin growths that are bothersome and do not resolve on their own, you may consider having them safely removed by your dermatologist. We do not recommend removing them yourself as it is dangerous and may lead to infections.

Can skin growths be cancerous?

Malignant skin growths, also known as neoplasms, are quite prevalent and have the potential to grow and spread rapidly. They can invade nearby tissues and organs and may also metastasise to other areas of your body. Identifiable precursor conditions are often associated with many malignant skin growths.


What does a contact allergy look like?
Skin rashes, hives, itchiness, redness, burning, swelling, and tenderness could be symptoms of a contact allergy, especially after coming into contact with a particular substance.
How do you relieve contact allergies?
Applying anti-itch creams and taking anti-itch medications, cold compresses, cool baths, and avoiding the particular substance that causes the allergy can all provide relief for contact allergies.
How long does it take to treat contact allergies?
Upon avoiding the contact allergen, symptoms typically clear up in 2-4 weeks. However, it depends on the individual and treatment plan.
Are contact allergies contagious?
No, contact allergies are not contagious and will not spread to other people.



Dr Uma Alagappan is a MOH accredited consultant dermatologist in private with more than 15 years experience as a medical doctor. She sub-specialises in paediatric dermatology, women’s dermatology and general dermatology. Dr Uma’s interests include chronic eczema, food allergy and immunodermatology. She is also well versed with the use of lasers for treating paediatric and adult patients.
Dr Uma completed her dermatology training in Changi General Hospital and National Skin Centre in 2015. She joined KKH Dermatology Service to subspecialize in paediatric dermatology in 2017. She was awarded the Ministry of Health Manpower Development Plan Award in 2019 to pursue paediatric immunodermatology and allergo-dermatology in the renowned Boston Children’s Hospital, Massachusetts, USA. Upon her return, she spearheaded a number of clinics at KKH including the food allergy eczema clinic for the paediatric eczema patients, immunodermatology clinics and the psychology eczema multi-disciplinary clinics.
Read More


Oxygen Icon Box

Tel: +65 9023 0905

Oxygen Icon Box

Fax: +65 6592 1411

Oxygen Icon Box

Fax: +65 6592 1411

Oxygen Icon Box

321 Joo Chiat Pl, #05-01A Parkway East Specialist Hospital, Singapore 427990

Oxygen Icon Box

Tel: +65 6320 0310

Oxygen Icon Box

290 Orchard Road 09-01/02 Paragon Medical Centre, Singapore 238859

Oxygen Icon Box

Oxygen Icon Box

Mon-Fri: 9:00a.m - 5:00p.m
Sat: 9:00a.m - 12.30p.m
Sun and public holidays (CLOSED)

Map Direction: Parkway East SpecialistMap Direction: Paragon Medical Centre


Email us at

Alternatively, you may fill in our enquiry form here.

321 Joo Chiat Pl, #05-01A Parkway East Specialist Hospital, Singapore 427990 | Tel: +65 6517 9760
290 Orchard Road 09-01/02 Paragon Medical Centre, Singapore 238859 | Tel: +65 6320 0310


rocketchevron-down linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram