People can develop many types of benign (noncancerous) growths on their skin over time. The most common types of benign growths are cysts, skin tags, lipomas, and seborrheic keratoses. Cysts are subcutaneous nodules that are essentially made up of skin cells underneath the skin. Skin tags are hanging little flaps of skin that occur most frequently on the neck, armpits and groin areas. A lipoma is a soft subcutaneous nodule that is comprised of enlarged fat cells. As people age, many will develop some rough gray to brown scaly growths which are called seborrheic keratoses.
None of these benign growths are harmful, although people may want to get them removed for various reasons. They are unsightly in some instances, or they can become irritated or infected. Cysts and lipoma removal may be covered by medical insurance, whereas the removal of skin tags and seborrheic keratoses is an out of pocket expense. Generally they are all easily removable with modern dermatologic procedures.