My eyes are up HERE
May 16, 2013 8:18 PM   Subscribe

Help me cover up this big dark bump on my shoulder with makeup or other tricks!

I have a kind of benign cyst on the back of my shoulder. It's raised, dark, and reasonably large, about a 1/4 inch in diameter. It sort of looks like a mole, but it's clear from its coloring and shape that it's not. I love wearing tank tops in the summertime, but I notice people staring at the cyst when I'm sitting next to them. I WILL NOT SACRIFICE THE TANK TOP!

I don't want to get it removed because the doctor says it's big enough that it would leave a large crater in the skin, and it's benign and doesn't bother me otherwise. So, maybe I can cover it up?

Can you recommend a (reasonably inexpensive) cosmetic that could help to hide this big bump? I've tried traditional blemish cremes, foundation, and cover-ups, but they don't quite do the job, partly because it's so raised. I'm also a bit makeup-dumb. Other ideas?

My skin is fairly light/caucasian, and the bump is a deep brown, if that matters.
posted by Ms. Toad to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (13 answers total)
You could try the kind of makeup meant for covering up tattoos, like Dermablend.

You might also consider seeing if your doctor, or someone else, could sort of 'fill in' the crater from removing it with some kind of plastic-surgery implant?
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:37 PM on May 16, 2013

Would you be willing to put a little bandage over it? Wart removers often come with little coverup pads that might be great for that.
posted by SLC Mom at 8:42 PM on May 16, 2013

Clearly the bump is bothering you. Would a crater bother you more or less? If less, then get it removed.
posted by overleaf at 9:02 PM on May 16, 2013

Best answer: You probably can't cover it up completely with makeup; makeup can hide basically any pigmentation issue (so you could turn it the same color as your skin with the right product), but you won't be able to hide the fact that it's raised.

If you do want to cover up the color and are okay with the fact that it will still be raised, you need a tattoo-strength concealer. Dermablend as mentioned above will definitely work, and I think Sephora has a couple too (Kat Von D makes one but I don't know how good it is, Amazing Cosmetics makes one that is very opaque, I think Cover FX has a very opaque one.) The benefit of going to Sephora is that you could test out a couple, find the right shade, and get a sample. You may need to set it with powder to keep it from rubbing off. The makeup may transfer on to your clothing a little depending on where exactly the cyst, and the makeup, is.
posted by insectosaurus at 9:16 PM on May 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

but I notice people staring at the cyst when I'm sitting next to them.

Please consider that, given that this is a "1/4 inch" cyst, that the above statement may be a bit of distorted thinking about people's perception and or interest. Before you decide on a surgical solution, you might want to spend a few hours with someone that could help you examine why you're thinking this way about it.
posted by HuronBob at 9:18 PM on May 16, 2013 [6 favorites]

Dermablend is indeed your best bet. Also I suggest you get a second opinion on the removal of this cyst, ideally from a plastic surgeon.
posted by elizardbits at 10:10 PM on May 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

Wait, this thing is only a quater inch?

Use some makeup and check on removal. I think a scar is easier to hide than a raised bump. (Also, can't they stitch it after they remove it so you don't have a "crater?")

I have a large raised scar that is probably 2 or 3 times the size of yours on my shoulder blade from getting some stitches removed too early. I have decided to not care and wait for it to fade, and maybe eventually get a tattoo over it.

It's part of you, accept it. If you must, use some good makeup/coverup. I don't think there is any topical magic makeup or anything to make it completely disappear however. Try the green "tone correcter" with makeup on top?
posted by Crystalinne at 10:26 PM on May 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

Maybe others have had different experiences, and maybe the product has changed a lot over time. But I tried Dermablend about 20 years ago and found it extremely, extremely, extremely difficult to work with.

For one thing, unless the shade is an exact match to your skin tone, it will only make the blemish stand out. Admittedly I do have an exceptionally difficult-to-match skin tone, but their lightest shade was a beige yellow colour whereas my skin is pink-based white. All I got for using a single shade was a LOOK AT ME!!! I'M A BEIGE SPLOTCH!!! Supposedly, the way to handle this is to mix the shades. So... I unleash even more money on a darker shade of beige yellow and spend how many hours mixing it in a futile attempt to get an exact match? Supposing I were to kid myself that that's possible, and I managed it once. The next day I would have to mix it all over again!

For another thing (and I accept that the formulation may have changed), the reason it was "long-lasting" was apparently because it was oil-based. Thick, dense greasepaint. I have, and had, extremely oily skin. The stuff began to cake, pore, and slide off within 15 minutes, while I was still trying to apply it. Maybe you're not so greasy as I am (few people are), but what happens when you need to carry a bag, brush up against something, or wear shoulder straps?

Now admittedly I have exceptionally difficult skin, with an unusual hard-to-match colour, and the formulation of Dermablend may have changed over time. It's possible that your skin tone is super easy to match and that there's a long lasting product easily accessible out there for you. Since the cosmetic industry seems to have come out with an honest-to-FSM all-day lipstick[1] in the two decades since my misadventures with Dermablend, in theory nothing should be impossible.

But I just don't know. It strikes me like the kind of effort someone would put in if they had disfiguring marks on their face, and then in some cases I believe they are individually tutored in how to use the stuff. For a quarter-inch cyst which is on your shoulder, and raised anyway, I don't know how much payoff you'd get for that effort.
posted by tel3path at 2:34 AM on May 17, 2013

If it is bothering you this much, I'd go get a second opinion from a board certified plastic surgeon. PRP for tissue growth is pretty common these days and I'd be pretty surprised if you were left with a crater from a 1/4" cyst.
posted by PorcineWithMe at 3:12 AM on May 17, 2013

I would also encourage you to see a board certified plastic surgeon. There is no reason for a 1/4" cyst to leave a crater after removal by a competent plastic surgeon.
posted by Dolley at 5:32 AM on May 17, 2013

Response by poster: OK, it's actually probably more like 1/2 inch. It's a pretty good size and my dermatologist suggested that it's also quite deep, hence the crater. And trust me, it's noticeable. I can literally watch people's eyes travel to it and back as we're talking.

I honestly don't really care that much; it doesn't bother me that badly. It's mostly that I don't want to be exposing people to something they find gross!

I really don't want to go the surgical route, again, because it doesn't bother me that much. Just a little make-up to blend the skin tone with the rest of my shoulder would suffice.
posted by Ms. Toad at 6:39 AM on May 17, 2013

Best answer: Maybe get it or the surrounding area tattooed into something cool. If you can't hide it then own it.
posted by srboisvert at 7:31 AM on May 17, 2013 [2 favorites]

I would definitely go to a Sephora or a store that sells pro makeup for film & television - we have several here in LA; I'm guessing they exist but are less common elsewhere - and have someone match you to the right shade of concealer and show you how to apply the product. If the person isn't very good at matching your skin tone, have someone else help you. You should absolutely be able to cover the cyst and turn it the exact color of your skin, though as I said, it will still be raised.

As an aside, are you sure people think it's gross? I would probably be curious, myself, if I didn't know what it was, but I probably would not think it was gross.
posted by insectosaurus at 2:44 PM on May 17, 2013

« Older Getting empty homes sold.   |   The kid is alright, but what about the parent? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.