Bumps on Skin

MedicineNet - Bumps on Skin

Symptom Checker: Symptoms & Signs Index

Medical Author:

People often describe localized swollen areas on, or under, the skin as lumps or bumps. While bumps on, or under, the skin may result from conditions that give rise to a skin rash, many other conditions can result in solitary raised lumps on the skin. Infections, tumors, and the body's response to trauma or injury can all lead to lumps or bumps that appear to be located on or underneath the skin.

Depending upon the cause of skin lumps or bumps, they may vary in size and be firm or soft to the touch. The overlying skin may be reddened or ulcerated. Skin bumps may or may not be painful or tender, depending upon the cause of the lesions.

Patients may experience the related symptoms of Dry Skin, Rash, and/or Itch.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/21/2012

Health concern on your mind? Visit the Symptom Checker.

REFERENCE:

Fauci, Anthony S., et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 17th ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2008.

Causes of Bumps on Skin
    • Acne (Pimples) Acne is a localized skin inflammation as a result of overactivity of oil glands at the base of hair follicles. This...learn more »
      In This Article
      Acne (Pimples) Article
      • What is acne?
      • What causes acne?
      • What other skin conditions can mimic acne?
      • When should you start acne treatment?
      • What can you do about acne on your own?
      • What are other things you can do for acne? Are there any home remedies for acne?
      • What is a good basic skin regimen for people with acne?
      • What can the doctor do for acne?
      • How would you sum up current-day acne treatment?
    • Actinic Keratosis Actinic keratoses are rough, scaly patches of skin that are considered precancerous and are due to sun exposure. Prevention is to...learn more »
      In This Article
      Actinic Keratosis Article
      • Actinic keratosis facts
      • What is an actinic keratosis, and what does it look like?
      • Who is at risk for an actinic keratosis?
      • Where on the body do actinic keratoses typically occur?
      • What is the significance of an actinic keratosis?
      • How is an actinic keratosis diagnosed?
      • How is an actinic keratosis treated?
      • What happens after an actinic keratosis is treated?
    • Birthmark Birthmarks and other abnormal skin pigmentation is caused by the body's inability to produce enough melanin. Abnormal skin...learn more »
      In This Article
      Birthmark Article
      • Birthmark facts
      • What is a birthmark?
      • What are the different types of birthmarks?
      • What are the characteristics of pigmented birthmarks?
      • What are the characteristics of vascular birthmarks?
      • What causes birthmarks?
      • Are any symptoms and signs associated with birthmarks?
      • What disorders are associated with birthmarks?
      • Can skin damage during delivery produce a birthmark?
      • Does insurance cover the cost of birthmark removal?
      • What is the treatment for birthmarks?
      • What is the prognosis of birthmarks?
    • Boils A boil is a skin abscess, a collection of pus localized deep in the skin. There are several different types of boils. Among them...learn more »
      In This Article
      Boils Article
      • Boils facts
      • What is a boil? What are the symptoms and signs of a boil?
      • What causes boils to form?
      • Who is most likely to get a boil?
      • How are boils diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for a boil?
      • When should I seek medical attention for a boil?
      • What is the prognosis (outcome) for a boil?
      • What can be done to prevent boils (abscesses)?
    • Cyst Cysts are sac-like structures that may be filled with gas, liquid, or solid materials. Cysts may produce symptoms depending on...learn more »
      In This Article
      Cyst Article
      • Cyst facts
      • What is a cyst?
      • What causes a cyst?
      • What are risk factors for a cyst?
      • What are cyst symptoms and signs?
      • How do physicians diagnose a cyst?
      • What is the treatment for a cyst?
      • What is the prognosis of a cyst?
      • Is it possible to prevent a cyst?
    • Erythema Nodosum Erythema nodosum is a skin inflammation that results in reddish, painful, tender lumps most commonly located in the front of the...learn more »
      In This Article
      Erythema Nodosum Article
      • What is erythema nodosum?
      • What causes erythema nodosum?
      • What are the signs and symptoms of erythema nodosum?
      • How is erythema nodosum diagnosed?
      • Can erythema nodosum be confused with other conditions?
      • How is erythema nodosum treated?
    • Gout (Gouty Arthritis) Buildup of uric acid crystals in a joint causes gouty arthritis. Symptoms and signs include joint pain, swelling, heat, and...learn more »
      In This Article
      Gout (Gouty Arthritis) Article
      • Gout facts
      • What is gout?
      • What causes gout?
      • What are risk factors for gout?
      • What are symptoms and signs of gout?
      • How is gout diagnosed?
      • When should gout be treated?
      • What is the treatment for gout?
      • Do gout medications have any side effects?
      • What foods should people with gout avoid?
      • What complications are associated with gout?
      • What is the prognosis of gout?
      • Is it possible to prevent gout?
      • What research is being done on gout?
    • Heart Attack Prevention Overview Heart attacks are the major causes of unexpected, sudden death among men and women. A heart attack is also a significant cause of...learn more »
      In This Article
      Heart Attack Prevention Overview Article
      • Introduction
      • What is atherosclerosis?
      • What are coronary heart diseases (CHD)?
      • What is angina pectoris?
      • What is a heart attack?
      • Ventricular fibrillation
      • Heart failure
      • What is cerebral vascular disease?
      • Ischemic stroke
      • Hemorrhagic stroke
      • Transient ischemic attack (TIA)
      • When does the coronary atherosclerosis process begin?
      • Have most people done enough to prevent atherosclerosis and heart attacks?
      • What are the risk factors for coronary atherosclerosis and heart disease?
      • How can coronary atherosclerosis and heart attacks be prevented?
    • Impetigo Impetigo is a contagious skin infection caused by staph and strep bacteria. There are two types of impetigo: non-bullous and...learn more »
      In This Article
      Impetigo Article
      • Impetigo facts
      • What is impetigo? What causes impetigo?
      • What are the types of impetigo, and what are impetigo symptoms and signs? What does impetigo look like?
      • Is impetigo contagious?
      • How is impetigo diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for impetigo?
      • What are possible complications of impetigo?
      • Will impetigo leave scars?
      • Can impetigo be prevented?
    • Insect Sting Allergies The majority of stinging insects in the United States are from Bees, Yellow Jackets, Hornets, Wasps and Fire Ants. Severity of...learn more »
      In This Article
      Insect Sting Allergies Article
      • Stinging insect allergy facts
      • What are stinging insects?
      • Who is at risk for insect sting allergies?
      • What types of insect sting reactions occur?
      • How is a severe allergic reaction immediately treated?
      • How can I avoid insect stings?
      • What can I do about becoming immune to insect allergy?
    • Jock Itch Jock itch is an itchy red rash that appears in the groin area. The rash may be caused by a bacterial or fungal infection. People...learn more »
      In This Article
      Jock Itch Article
      • Jock itch facts
      • What is jock itch? What does jock itch look like?
      • What causes jock itch?
      • Who gets jock itch?
      • What are jock itch symptoms and signs?
      • Does jock itch affect the entire body?
      • How is jock itch diagnosed?
      • Is jock itch curable? Is jock itch contagious?
      • What are possible complications of jock itch?
      • What is the treatment for jock itch?
      • What home remedy can I use for jock itch?
      • What holistic jock itch treatments are available?
      • How do I treat fungal jock itch?
      • How do I treat bacterial jock itch?
      • How is itching from jock itch treated?
      • Why is my groin still discolored?
      • What is the best drug for jock itch?
      • What is the prognosis with jock itch?
      • When should I call my doctor about jock itch?
      • How do I prevent jock itch?
    • Keloid A keloid is a scar that doesn't know when to stop. When the cells keep on reproducing, the result is an overgrown (hypertrophic)...learn more »
      In This Article
      Keloid Article
      • What is a keloid?
      • What is the difference between a keloid and a hypertrophic scar?
      • What are keloid symptoms and signs?
      • What is the cause of keloids?
      • Which people are most susceptible to keloids?
      • In which area of the body are keloids most likely to appear?
      • Keloids and piercing
      • Is keloid prevention possible?
      • Is keloid removal necessary?
      • What are the treatments for keloids?
    • Keratosis Pilaris Keratosis pilaris (KP) is a common skin disorder in which small white or red bumps appear around hair follicles on the upper...learn more »
      In This Article
      Keratosis Pilaris Article
      • Keratosis pilaris (KP) facts
      • What is keratosis pilaris?
      • Who gets keratosis pilaris?
      • What is the prognosis of patients with keratosis pilaris?
      • Does keratosis pilaris affect the entire body?
      • What does keratosis pilaris look like?
      • What causes keratosis pilaris?
      • How is keratosis pilaris diagnosed?
      • Is keratosis pilaris curable?
      • Is keratosis pilaris contagious?
      • What are possible complications of keratosis pilaris?
      • Does diet have anything to do with keratosis pilaris?
      • What is the treatment for keratosis pilaris?
      • Keratosis pilaris "do's"
      • Keratosis pilaris "don'ts"
    • Melanoma Second Source article from Government...learn more »
    • Melanoma Melanoma is a type of skin cancer which begins in skin cells called melanocytes and affects more than 53,600 people in the United...learn more »
      In This Article
      Melanoma Article
      • Melanoma facts
      • Introduction
      • What does melanoma look like? What are the symptoms and signs?
      • What if the skin changes are rapid or dramatic?
      • What are the causes and risk factors for melanoma?
      • How do I know my level of risk for melanoma?
      • What are the types of melanoma?
      • How is melanoma diagnosed?
      • How do doctors determine the prognosis (outlook) of a melanoma?
      • What is the treatment for melanoma?
      • What methods are available to help prevent melanoma?
      • Conclusions
      • What is in the future for melanoma?
      • Additional Resources
    • Moles Moles are small skin growths that may appear flat or raised and are often tan, brown, black, reddish brown, or skin colored. They...learn more »
      In This Article
      Moles Article
      • Moles facts
      • What are moles?
      • What causes moles, and what are risk factors for developing moles?
      • What types of moles are there?
      • What are liver spots or age spots?
      • What are seborrheic keratoses?
      • Who is more prone to getting moles?
      • Does having more moles increase my chance of getting melanoma?
      • Do moles ever disappear spontaneously?
      • Which skin cancers look like moles?
      • How can moles be prevented?
      • How can moles be treated? What are different types of mole removal?
      • Is there a blood test or X-ray to diagnose moles?
    • Molluscum Contagiosum Molluscum contagiosum is a skin disease that causes pink painless bumps on the skin. It typically resolves in six to 12 months....learn more »
      In This Article
      Molluscum Contagiosum Article
      • Molluscum contagiosum facts
      • What is molluscum contagiosum?
      • What causes molluscum contagiosum?
      • What are risk factors for molluscum contagiosum?
      • What are molluscum contagiosum symptoms and signs?
      • How do physicians diagnose molluscum contagiosum?
      • What is the treatment for molluscum contagiosum?
      • Are there any home remedies for molluscum contagiosum?
      • What is the prognosis of molluscum contagiosum?
      • Is it possible to prevent molluscum contagiosum?
    • MRSA MRSA (methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus) bacteria causes skin infections with the following signs and symptoms:...learn more »
      In This Article
      MRSA Article
      • MRSA infections facts
      • What is methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)?
      • What does a MRSA infection look like?
      • What are the risk factors for MRSA infections?
      • What are the signs and symptoms of a MRSA infection?
      • How is a MRSA infection transmitted or spread?
      • How is a MRSA infection diagnosed?
      • How should caregivers treat MRSA patients at home?
      • What is the treatment for a MRSA infection?
      • What is the prognosis (outlook) of a MRSA infection?
      • How can people prevent a MRSA infection?
      • What are the potential complications of a MRSA infection?
      • What is a "superbug"?
      • Where are other MRSA information sources?
    • Psoriasis Psoriasis is a long-term skin condition that may cause large plaques of red, raised skin, flakes of dry skin, and skin scales....learn more »
    • Rash The word "rash" means an outbreak of red bumps on the body. The way people use this term, "a rash" can refer to many different...learn more »
      In This Article
      Rash Article
      • Rashes facts
      • What are noninfectious, common rashes localized to a particular anatomical area?
      • How are common skin rashes diagnosed?
      • Scaly patches of skin produced by fungal or bacterial infection
      • Widely distributed rashes affecting large portions of the skin
      • What is the treatment for a rash?
    • Rheumatoid Arthritis Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation of the joints, the tissue around the joints, as...learn more »
      In This Article
      Rheumatoid Arthritis Article
      • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) facts
      • What is rheumatoid arthritis (RA)?
      • What are causes and risk factors of rheumatoid arthritis?
      • What are rheumatoid arthritis symptoms and signs?
      • What are complications of rheumatoid disease?
      • How is rheumatoid arthritis diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for rheumatoid arthritis?
      • "First-line" rheumatoid arthritis medications
      • "Second-line" or "slow-acting" rheumatoid arthritis drugs
      • What are newer treatments for rheumatoid arthritis?
      • What about rheumatoid arthritis and pregnancy?
      • Rheumatoid arthritis diet and other treatments
      • What is the prognosis (outlook) for patients with rheumatoid arthritis?
      • Can rheumatoid arthritis be prevented?
      • What research is being done on rheumatoid arthritis?
      • Where can people get additional information on rheumatoid arthritis?
    • Rosacea Rosacea is a skin disease that causes redness of the forehead, chin, and lower half of the nose. In addition to inflammation of...learn more »
      In This Article
      Rosacea Article
      • Rosacea facts
      • What is rosacea? Is rosacea contagious?
      • Is rosacea like acne?
      • What are causes and risk factors of rosacea?
      • What are rosacea symptoms and signs?
      • How is rosacea diagnosed?
      • What happens to the nose and the eyes?
      • How is rosacea cured?
      • What about using acne medicine?
      • What is the treatment for rosacea?
      • What should be avoided? What foods are good for rosacea?
      • What natural remedies can help rosacea?
      • Does rosacea get worse with age?
      • How should I care for the skin of my face?
      • How are the telangiectasias (the red lines) treated?
      • How is a rhinophyma (the W.C. Fields nose) treated?
      • What effect may rosacea have on my life?
      • Where can people get more information about rosacea?
    • Scabies Scabies are itch mites that burrow under the skin and produce intense itching that's usually worse at night. Symptoms of scabies...learn more »
    • Scarlet Fever Scarlet fever is an infectious disease caused by the bacteria group A Streptococcus. Symptoms and signs include a rash, sore...learn more »
      In This Article
      Scarlet Fever Article
      • Scarlet fever facts
      • What is scarlet fever?
      • What is the history of scarlet fever?
      • What causes scarlet fever?
      • What are scarlet fever symptoms and signs?
      • How long is scarlet fever contagious?
      • How is scarlet fever diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for scarlet fever?
      • Can scarlet fever be prevented?
      • What is the prognosis for scarlet fever?
    • Skin Tag A skin tag is a small benign growth of skin that projects from the surrounding skin. Skin tags can vary in appearance (smooth,...learn more »
    • Sporotrichosis Sporotrichosis is a skin infection caused by a fungus called Sporothrix schenckii. The fungus, which may be present in sphagnum...learn more »
      In This Article
      Sporotrichosis Article
      • What is sporotrichosis?
      • What causes sporotrichosis?
      • Who gets sporotrichosis?
      • What are the signs and symptoms of sporotrichosis?
      • How is sporotrichosis diagnosed?
      • How is sporotrichosis treated?
      • How can sporotrichosis be prevented?
    • Steroid Abuse Anabolic steroids are synthetic substances that are related to testosterone and promote skeletal muscle growth and the...learn more »
      In This Article
      Steroid Abuse Article
      • Anabolic steroid abuse facts
      • What are anabolic steroids?
      • Why do people abuse anabolic steroids?
      • How do people abuse anabolic steroids?
      • Are anabolic steroids addictive?
      • What are the psychological and physical side effects of anabolic steroid abuse?
      • How are anabolic steroid abuse and addiction diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for anabolic steroid abuse and addiction?
      • Can anabolic steroid abuse and addiction be prevented?
      • Where can I get more information on anabolic steroid abuse?
    • Warts (Common Warts) Common warts are skin growths causes by the human papillomavirus. There are many types of warts, including plantar warts, common...learn more »
      In This Article
      Warts (Common Warts) Article
      • Wart facts
      • What are common warts?
      • What are some types of common warts?
      • What is the treatment for common warts?
      • Is using over-the-counter wart treatments safe?
      • Are wart treatments effective?
      • What if wart removal treatments fail?
Other Causes of Bumps on Skin
  • Basal Cell Carcinoma (Skin Cancer)
  • Contact Dermatitis
  • Dermatofibroma
  • Enlarged Lymph Nodes
  • Granuloma Annulare
  • Hemangioma
  • Hyperplasia
  • Infections/Abscesses
  • Intradermal Cyst
  • Keratoacanthoma
  • Lipoma
  • Metastatic Carcinoma
  • Neurofibromatosis
  • Polymorphic Light Eruption
  • Pyogenic Granuloma
  • Rheumatoid Nodules
  • Sebaceous (Epidermoid) Cysts
  • Sebaceous Gland
  • Seborrheic Keratosis
  • Skin Rash
  • Soft Tissue Sarcomas
  • Splinters or Other Foreign Bodies
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma (Skin Cancer)
  • Xanthomas




Women's Health

Find out what women really need.