Cells of the skin and underlying tissue may accumulate and cause growths. These growths may be flat or raised, and can vary in colour from dark brown or black to skin-coloured or red. They may be present at birth or develop later.
When the growth is controlled and the cells do not spread to other parts of the body, the skin growth (tumour) is non-cancerous (benign). When the growth is uncontrolled, the tumour is cancerous (malignant), and the cells will invade normal tissue and possibly spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body.
Most skin growths are non-cancerous and are mainly a cosmetic problem. However, if you have a skin growth that is changing in appearance (size, shape or colour) or symptoms over time, you should have the growth examined by a doctor to determine whether it is skin cancer. Most skin cancers are curable when treated at an early stage, thus it is important to see a doctor early if you have an unusual or changed skin growth.