Your body is protected by its largest organ, your skin. When its healthy and working well, we take it completely for granted but if things go wrong skin can become painful, red, itchy and truly embarrassing. This is definitely the case when lumps and bumps develop on the skin of the face because this is the part of you that everyone looks at when they interact with you.

Skin problems that can affect the face

Lumps and bumps come and go but sometimes they develop and then stick around. If you have a spot or lump on your face that doesn’t go away after six weeks it is always worth getting it checked out. Lumps can be simple skin cysts, but they could turn out to be cancerous.

Skin cancer is highly treatable but removal can leave a scar; early diagnosis and treatment is far better than putting worrying and putting off making an appointment.

Mr Spencer Hodges is a surgeon with a special interest in treating skin lumps and bumps on the face, including all the forms of skin cancer that can develop:

“Surgery should be effective in that it should remove the lump, whether it is cancerous or not, while giving you the best cosmetic result possible. This involves making incisions as small as possible and placing scars where they are not easily seen. The techniques I use for patients with skin tags, skin cancers or those wanting cosmetic improvements are very similar.”

Types of facial skin problems

Mr Hodges sees patients with many different types of of skin conditions, including:

“Diagnosing which skin disease you have means coming to one of my clinics so that I can talk to you about the problem and examine your skin in detail. I can often tell a patient what the problem is by looking at the lump and palpating it – feeling it gently. Sometimes you will need a biopsy. Part of, or all of the lump is removed and sent to the pathologist who will then look at the specimen with a microscope to give a definitive diagnosis.”

Types of biopsy

  • An incisional biopsy removes part of the lump, which is then sent away for study by the pathologist. Depending on the results, further surgery to remove the entire lump may then be needed.
  • An excisional biopsy is carried out when Mr Hodges is able to make a diagnosis of skin cancer by looking and feeling the lump. The entire lump is removed to treat the skin cancer, which is then sent to the pathologist for confirmation and further information.