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WHAT ARE LUMPS?
Lumps are areas of localized swelling on the body. These swellings are noticed amidst surrounding normal tissue, which may be of varying consistencies such as soft, firm or hard. These lumps can have different characteristics such as being mobile/fixed.
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES?
Skin lumps can be caused by an exhaustive list of health conditions. Some of the common ones include:
- Lipomas (Made of fat tissue)
- Inflammation/Abscesses (Filled with pus)
- Lymph node enlargement.
- Hematoma (Localized collection of blood)
- Dermato fibrosis
- Epidermoid cysts
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
Though a lump, by itself, is a symptom/sign and usually poses no other problem, it may lead to a list of manifestations as per the cause. These may include:
- Pain over the lump.
- Redness in conditions of inflammation.
- Discharge from the lump (Pus/Blood)
- Cosmetic disfigurement.
- Variable pattern of growth of the lump, which will be very slow in benign conditions or very rapid and indicates mostly progression towards cancer.
- Systemic symptoms such as weight loss / loss of appetite mostly due to underlying pathology such as malignancy.
If you notice any such lumps, it is advisable to get it treated at the earliest. So, ask a GP for correct guidance.
HOW ARE LUMPS TREATED?
Usually most skin lumps are not dangerous and do not pose any major concern, except for cosmetic reasons. However, even though majority are due to benign etiology and don’t point to a dangerous medical condition, not requiring further treatment, they should be checked by a doctor to evaluate and screen for malignancy and followed up as advised.
Treatment for a lump depends on the type of the underlying pathology. Various modalities used for treatment include:
- Course of antibiotics to combat infection.
- Corticosteroids to deal with inflammation.
- Laser therapy.
- Topical medications for local application.
- Surgical removal (Removal of the lump in toto).
- Excision and biopsy (send the abnormal tissue for histopathological study and formulate further plan of management.
- Chemotherapy (involving the usage of drugs to shrink tumours and stop them from growing) / Radiotherapy (which uses high-energy radiation to kill cancer cells) depending on the type and stage in case of cancer.
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