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.

Benign skin lumps are not cancerous and are not likely to turn into cancer. Medically, they often don’t need to be treated as they do you no physical harm. They can, however, cause embarrassment and low self esteem, particularly if they are obvious and on your face.

Diagnosing them is straightforward and removal can then be performed with excellent results.

Non-cancerous skin conditions

Skin lumps that are not cancerous and that never become cancerous are common and affect many people at some time in their life.

Skin tags

These are usually small lumps that hang from the skin. They commonly occur on the face around the eyelids but they can also arise on the neck line and under the arms.

Although they are usually completely innocent they can still be annoying. Those under the arms and on the neck can get sore if your clothes rub against them and the ones on the face just look unsightly.

Once diagnosed, skin tags can be removed very simply, leaving a tiny scar, if that, in most cases.

Skin cysts

The most common type of skin cyst is the sebaceous cyst also known as an epidermoid cyst or a wen.

You will probably first notice a small lump within the skin that might develop a hole, known medically as a punctum. The cyst can produce white foul smelling material, which isn’t pleasant.

As a cyst enlarges it can become very obvious and if it gets infected, the area around it can be very red and painful. Proper drainage of the infection and antibiotics are then required.

Cysts are best removed and only a small incision is used. There will be a small scar but this will be far less noticeable than the original cyst.


Moles can be pigmented (dark brown) or non-pigmented (skin coloured). Virtually everyone has at least one and many people have multiple moles. It is a good idea to keep an eye on moles and see your doctor if changes occur. Suspicious moles should always be checked as they can be cancerous.

Non-cancerous moles are simply fleshy lumps that grow slowly over many years. Usually moles on the face are removed for cosmetic reasons. Those on other parts of the body may need to go because they are rubbed by clothing.

All moles are checked to make sure they are not cancerous and, if removal is required, two main techniques are used:

  • The mole is excised (cut out) creating a little scar.
  • The mole is shaved repeatedly leaving a small graze-like wound that heals with very good cosmetic results.