Benign Skin Tumours

Melanocytic naevi (Moles)

Melanocytic naevi, more commonly known as moles, are benign (non-cancerous) skin growths caused by abnormal collection of pigment producing cells in the skin.  Most moles are dark and pigmented but some moles may be lightly pigmented or may even be flesh coloured. Moles initially appear flat but may become raised and dome-shaped later in life.  They generally do not require removal except for cosmetic reasons. Consult a dermatologist if your mole develops irregular borders, starts bleeding or suddenly increases in size as these may represent early cancerous changes.

Skin tags

Skin tags are skin-coloured growths which commonly occur on the neck, underarms, groins and eyelids. Multiple skin tags may appear around the same area. They are harmless, and can easily be removed by the dermatologist using minor surgery.

Seborrhoeic keratosis

Seborrheic keratoses are superficial skin growths commonly located on the face. They can also occur on the body and groin. They initially appear brown and slightly raised, but may enlarge and become darker and more numerous with age. This condition does not transform to skin cancer. However, removal of these growths is commonly performed by dermatologists for cosmetic reasons.

Sebaceous hyperplasia

Sebaceous hyperplasias are small yellowish lumps often seen on the cheeks. They occur when there is an overgrowth of oil glands just beneath the surface of the skin. These are benign and may be treated with electrosurgery (using a weak current to destroy the growths) or laser.


Syringomas are small flesh-coloured lumps that occur commonly just below or around the eyes. They form when there is an overgrowth of sweat ducts in the skin. Syringomas may be treated with laser or electrosurgery.