Lump on Leg under Skin

Question

I had a lump on my shin a few weeks back. It was hard and moved about when I touched it. It was also rubbery, and was the size of a grape. Then, yesterday I found another lump under my arm. This one is slightly painful although the previous one was not. I am wondering if these are cysts. I am hoping they are, as I really don’t want to think about other alternative possibilities as cancer or lymphoma or whatever. What do you think these are cysts? Do you think I should get medical advice?

Answer

A lump on leg under skin can be due to various reasons. You should not hesitate to obtain medical advice in this regard. Lumps and bumps are sometimes dangerous and can be malignant tumors. If you ignore these symptoms, the chance of preventing the spread of cancer increases. What you need to do is schedule an appointment with your doctor and have him examine these lumps and give you a proper diagnosis. Meanwhile, just to put your mind at rest, below are a few benign reasons for the lump on leg.

Folliculitis

Folliculitis is a condition that is caused by the infection of hair follicles. There are two types of folliculitis. This is superficial folliculitis and deep folliculitis. Superficial folliculitis, most often, does not require treatment as it will go away on its own. Deep folliculitis, however, will require treatment. You could be having deep folliculitis as one of its symptoms is a large swollen mass. This is accompanied by pus-filled blisters and severe pain. A doctor will prescribe antifungal cream, as well as, antibiotics for infection.

Skin Cysts

Skin cysts are common and are non-cancerous. Cysts can form due to infections, clogging of the sebaceous glands and with cartilage piercing. If your lump on shin is smooth and rolls around, it could be a skin cyst. However, most skin cysts are not painful unless it is infected. Your cyst could be infected and, therefore, may require draining. This is done by a professional health care provider who will pierce it with a sharp needle and drain the pus. Inflamed cysts may require corticosteroid injections or a minor surgery to remove it.

Fibroma or Lipoma

A lump on leg under skin can also mean benign tumors such as fibroma and lipomas. Fibromas occur due to leg injury or trauma. It is a growth consisting of fibrous or connective tissue. Fibromas found on the leg are known as dermatofibromas. They are round, and will range in colour from flesh colour to purple. They are hard to the touch. Dermatofibromas do not require treatment and is cancer free. Lipomas are slow growing tumors that are made up of fat cells. Commonly seen in the torso, neck and armpit, lipomas are not usually common to the leg area. However, if your lump on shin is round, flat and spongy and moves about when touched, it could be a lipoma.

Inflammatory Conditions

A lump or cyst on leg can be caused by certain inflammatory conditions. Inflammation can occur due to harmful stimuli such as pathogens or irritants. Inflammation occurs when the body fights to remove the foreign stimuli and begin the healing process. Leg lumps are common symptoms of some conditions that lead to inflammation. These include rheumatoid arthritis, gout, systematic lupus, and erythema nodosum etc. Treatment of the inflammatory condition will depend on the condition and its severity.

Although these are some of the benign reasons for the lump on leg under skin, you should not assume that the lump is benign. Timely diagnosis and medical treatment will help prevent other more serious and complicated causes of lumps on legs. Therefore, scheduling a medical appointment is necessary.