The discovery of a lump or a suspicious skin nodule is a problem faced by physicians in all specialties. Duration, enlargement, pain, redness, and drainage are features that will direct a common sense approach to treatment.
A lipoma is a benign fatty tumor that enlarges but does not invade or spread. Examination reveals a round, smooth, mobile, non-tender mass with normal overlying skin. Preoperative Imaging and tissue sampling are usually unnecessary.
Cysts, often referred to as sebaceous cysts or inclusion cysts, represent lubricating glands that become obstructed and enlarge. In contrast to lipomas, cysts are more firm and superficial, and secondary infection can develop.
It is very important to remember that a lump is never officially benign until the pathologist renders a diagnosis.