Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What causes hard skin growths to form?"
What is a hard skin growth, if it's not a wart or a callus or anything like that? I have one on my right index finger that doesn't look like any descriptions I've read online. It's just hard and flat ? it doesn't hurt, it's not discolored. It's just there. Should I ignore it?
Different things can cause hard skin growths. Some hard skin growths are painful, and some asymptomatic. It is important to be seen by a dermatologist (a skin doctor) when you have a new skin growth that you are concerned about (especially one that is painful), in order to obtain a diagnosis and possible treatment options. Hard skin growth can be caused by many things and often the location of the skin growth can determine what the etiology is. The skin growth you are referring to is on your finger. Hard growths on the fingers include warts (raised, can take on many forms, sometimes red, brown or with tiny black dots) and calluses (raised or flat, often skin colored and shiny) as you noted, as well as foreign objects that skin has grown around (like an embedded thorn or splinter), fibromas (proliferation of connective tissue sometimes with a proliferation of vessels) such as acquired digital fibrokeratomas, myxoid cysts can often be growths on the finger, or benign nodules (sometimes seen in inflammatory conditions or with increase in age) called heberden's and bouchard's nodes. Sometimes growths on the fingers can be due to other infectious processes and it is important therefore to have it evaluated by a dermatologist.
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