7 Types of Common Skin Bumps (Causes & Treatments)

Many of us have experienced raised skin bumps such as warts, skin tags, milia, cyst, lipoma, Seborrheic keratoses and etc.

Fortunately, in most cases, they are harmless. Skin bumps can result from a variety of conditions, including skin disorders, infections, allergic reactions, and skin cancer.

7 Types of Common Skin Bumps (Causes & Treatments)

This article will share about the common conditions causing raised skin bumps, their causes and treatment options available.

1) Skin tags

Skin tags

Skin tags are painless, noncancerous growths of the skin. They appear as fleshy skin-coloured , or slightly darker, growths that are attached to your skin by a small, thin stalk called a peduncle.

Skin tags are common in both men and women, especially after the age of 50. They can appear anywhere on the body but are most commonly found where your skin folds such as armpits, groin, neck, thighs etc.

The exact cause is unknown but it is thought to be related to friction, human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and insulin resistance.

Removal of skin tags can be done using cryotherapy, surgical removal with CO2 laser or scissors and ligation.

2) Warts


Warts are caused by many different types of human papillomavirus (HPV).  They can be found on skin or mucus membranes and may occur singly or in groups. The most commonly occur on hands or feet.

Warts are contagious and they can easily spread to other parts of your body or to close contacts. Hence, even though warts are generally harmless and may go away on their own, you may want to consider treatment early.

Warts 2

Is it important to remove warts? The answer is YES.

Though in most cases they are harmless, they can spread to other parts of the body easily.  If it is causing you discomfort, please feel free to visit our doctor to get it removed ASAP.

Treatments: Treatment include salicylic acid-based solutions or patches, freezing with liquid nitrogen or removal with CO2 laser.

3) Milia


Milia are harmless small cysts containing a skin protein called keratin. They appear as tiny pearly-white bumps just under the surface of the skin. Milia are common in all ages and in both sexes. They most often arise on the face and particularly prominent on the eyelids and cheeks.

Causes: The exact cause of milia formation is unknown in most cases. In some cases, it may be related to skin damage or use of certain drugs or creams.

Treatments: Removal of milia can be done using a laser (e.g. CO2 laser) to open the cysts and get rid of trapped keratin, cryotherapy or deroofing. For widespread milia, topical retinoids may be helpful.

4) Cyst


Cysts are sac-like pockets of membranous tissue that contains fluid, air, or under substances. Cysts can grow almost anywhere in your body or under your skin.

When a cyst grows under your skin, it appears as a bump under the skin that has a smooth surface. A cyst can be large or small and is usually painless. It typically is not a problem unless infected, very large or growing in a sensitive area.

Treatments: There are many different types of cysts and it is beyond the scope of this article to discuss all of them. However, if treatment is needed, it may entail draining fluids and other matter from the cyst using a needle or surgical removal of the cyst.

5) Lipoma


A lipoma is a growth of fatty tissue that slowly develops under the skin. It appears as a slow-growing soft, mobile lump underneath the skin. Lipomas are most prevalent in adults between the ages of 40-60. However they can develop at any age, but children rarely get them.

It can form on any part of the body but typically appear on the neck, shoulder, back, abdomen, arms and thighs. Aetiology of lipoma is unknown, although there may be a genetic predisposition.

Treatments: Lipomas generally need not be treated unless they are bothersome. Surgical removal is the usual method of removing lipomas.  Liposuction and steroid injections are alternative modalities.

6) Keratosis pilaris

Keratosis pilaris

Keratosis pilaris is a common skin condition that causes symmetrical patches of rough feeling bumps to appear on the skin. These bumps can appear skin-coloured, red or brown.

Keratosis pilaris most often affects the outer aspect of both arms. It may also occur on the thighs, buttocks and sides of the cheeks.  The exact cause is unknown but it is thought to be associated with other skin conditions like atopic dermatitis. There may also be a genetic origin.

Treatments: There is no known effective treatment for keratosis pilaris, however, there are some ways to prevent it from getting worse.  Use of non-soap cleansers, exfoliating sponges, moisturizing creams, topical retinoids, laser and intense pulse light (IPL) are some modalities to treat keratosis pilaris. Keratosis pilaris may eventually self resolve with time.

7) Seborrheic keratoses

Seborrheic keratoses

Seborrheic keratoses is one of the most common noncancerous skin growths in older adults. It appears as a brown, black, or light tan raised bump with a waxy feel. It can occur anywhere on the body except for the palms and soles of the feet.

Risks factors for developing seborrheic keratoses include older age, frequent sun exposure and family history of the condition.

Treatments: Methods for removing seborrheic keratoses include ablative laser removal using C02 laser, cryotherapy with liquid nitrogen and electrocautery.


Most raised skin bumps are harmless and benign in nature. However, if it is causing you discomfort, please speak to your doctor about it. Now you know the 7 Types of Common Skin Bumps (Causes & Treatments), you should also consult your doctor if you are concerned about any changes in your bumps or the overall condition of your skin.

Seborrheic keratoses 2

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