March 9, 2007 4:47 PM   Subscribe

Medical Filter: I have a small, nondiscolored, slow growing lump near my cheek bone. What could it be and what kind of doctor could help me?

I found a small lump on my cheak bone about five months ago. At first I thought it was a pimple that would eventualy go away. It has slowly grown to about the size of a pea. I couldn't find anything on the internet about it. I think it might either be a tumor or a kind of skin growth. The area is not discolored and doesn't hurt. The lump can be moved only slightly under the skin. Does anyone know what it could be or what type of doctor I should see?
posted by stuffedcrust to Health & Fitness (15 answers total)
It could still be a pimple (the cyst kind). I get them, sometimes they take months and months to go away, and they don't feel pimple like (notably, they don't change colour or hurt). Get it checked out anyway (because if I don't say that, an internet nanny comes by and murders me) but don't flip out in the mean time.

P.S. If it turns out to be a pimple and your doctor tells you a useful method for getting rid of the bugger, post back and let me know, 'k?
posted by anaelith at 4:58 PM on March 9, 2007

I had something that matches that description, a dermatologist took care of it (removed it under a local anesthetic) and sent it away for biopsy. Yours could be any number of things, the key is to see to it soon because even if it is completely benign, the bigger it gets, the more stitches it will take to repair your skin.

I waited until it took 3 stitches. Stupid.
posted by jamaro at 5:05 PM on March 9, 2007

Sounds like a sebaceous cyst. I had one on my back for years with no problem but then one day it started growing and became large, inflamed and clearly infected. I had it removed by a surgeon. If it was me (and my insurance allowed), I'd go to a dermatologist since it's on the face.
posted by tommasz at 5:08 PM on March 9, 2007

I don't know what it is, but if you have access to a dermatologist through your insurance--that would probably be the woman or man for you. If not, your regular ol' doctor can probably refer you to someone.
posted by divka at 5:08 PM on March 9, 2007

Maybe it's a sebaceous cyst.

It may well be the kind of thing a GP diagnose for you, though if it needs to be removed, if it needs to be biopsied, or if it's something odd, you'll probably end up having to go to a dermatologist.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 5:11 PM on March 9, 2007

Sebaceous cyst, lipoma, or something more serious are all on the differential. Your internist should be able to help, and if he/she doesn't know what it is, refer you appropriately.
posted by gramcracker at 5:42 PM on March 9, 2007

dermatologist, start there
posted by uncballzer at 5:45 PM on March 9, 2007

Sounds to me like a lipoma . I've got one on my neck. The doctor did a fine needle aspiration biopsy and to confirm what it was and that it was completely harmless. Cosmetically, not so great but not dangerous.
posted by blaneyphoto at 6:14 PM on March 9, 2007

It is probably just a harmless cyst, but why are you resisting going to a doctor? Face up to it like a man and get your ass to the doctor.
posted by caddis at 8:15 PM on March 9, 2007

Stick a scalpel or Xacto knife, or the corner of a razor blade, into it point-first about a quarter-inch, then squeeze hard and whatever's in there will ooze or pop out. Then, apply Neosporin and a Band-Aid and you'll heal without a noticable scar. That's essentially all a doctor will do anyway.
posted by nicwolff at 11:50 PM on March 9, 2007

I would be careful about following nicwolff's advice, as if the blade goes a bit too far, then you risk inoculating your deeper tissue layers, or worse, your bloodstream with bacteria-laden pus. This is Not A Good Thing. Amongst others, gramcracker's got it down: visit an internist, who will refer you to a derm if necessary.
posted by sappidus at 12:25 AM on March 10, 2007

I had something similar on my cheek that grew a little bit then fell off or disappeared and hasn't returned since. Unless it gets really huge, just ignore it?
posted by JJ86 at 5:32 AM on March 10, 2007

I had mine off by a plastic surgeon. He just went in through an existing facial crease, I took the suture out myself the next day, you couldn't see the wound in a week.
posted by unrepentanthippie at 8:54 AM on March 10, 2007

I think nicwolff is only semi-serious, but don't whatever you do follow that advice. See your family doctor, who will refer you on, either to a dermatologist, or a plastic surgeon as appropriate. With a facial lesion that needs removing, I would personally prefer to see a plastic surgeon, who will tend probably leave a smaller, less noticeable scar.
posted by roofus at 3:17 PM on March 10, 2007

Irish minister in TV tumour spot.

Not saying that this is what you've got, but note that somebody who knows a lot about this sort of thing was worried enough about a stranger to urge them to seek medical advice.
posted by veedubya at 2:02 PM on March 11, 2007

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