3 Most Common Types Of Lumps In The Hand & Treatment Options Available
Lumps can appear anywhere on our body and at any time in our life so seeing one is undoubtedly worrying, especially since the lay person often associates them with cancer. However, it is worth noting that benign growths are nine times more common than cancer so the lump you see on your hand may not be as scary as you think and can be treated.
At the same time, it is also important to understand what the three most common lumps in the hand are so you can look out for the worrying symptoms and seek treatment at a hand specialist clinic in Singapore early.
Read on to find out more about them.
1. Ganglion cysts
A ganglion cyst is one of the most common types of growth that appears in the hand, wrist and sometimes in the foot. In fact, it has been estimated that 10 to 30% of adults will develop one at some point in their lives.
It is a cyst filled with fluid that varies in size and develops in the joints; itthey may even appear, disappear and change size quickly. While it usually does not cause much discomfort, it can still result in pain and a limited range of motion depending on its location. A ganglion cyst is also soft to the touch, but not mushy.
The exact cause of a ganglion is not known, although it can sometimes be due to trauma or degeneration. Women are also generally more susceptible to a ganglion cyst compared to men. Ganglions usually arise from the joints and aspiration is generally not recommended due to the risks of recurrence and infection.
It is advisable to seek treatment at a hand specialist clinic when it is noted to be increasing in size, painful or affects daily activities involving wrist or finger motion. Excision biopsy is usually recommended to completely remove it.
Lipomas, another common benign soft-tissue growth usually found in the upper extremity of the body, are fatty lumps that grow slowly. They are often situated between the skin and underlying muscle layer and commonly occurs in the, shoulders, arms, forearms and hands
The exact cause of lipomas is unknown but the condition tends to run in the family. Thus, genetics likely play a huge role in their development.
Although usually painless, some lipomas can be painful if they press against nerves and the lumps tend to have a soft and doughy feeling to touch
While lipomas have very little potential for becoming cancerous, it is still advisable to get them checked by a hand surgeon as they can grow larger and become painful. Surgical excision is the only treatment that can completely remove lipomas and is done by making an incision and extracting the lump out.
3. Sebaceous cysts
Sebaceous cysts can pop up on any part of the body, especially the limbs and are believed to be a result of clogged hair follicles or skin trauma. They tend to grow slowly under the skin and contain keratin, a protein found in hair, skin, nails, glands and internal organs.
Developing a sebaceous cyst is usually not a cause for concern as it is usually benig. However, it may become infected when it suddenly grows bigger and causes discomfort, especially if it gets inflamed.
You may notice redness, tenderness and warmth in the skin covering the cyst but take note to never drain it yourself to prevent an infection.
It is recommended to get a lump in the upper limbs checked by a hand specialist in Singapore if you suspect you have developed a sebaceous cyst. Treatment typically involves a simple surgical method of removing and draining the cyst.
Getting growths in the hand treated in Singapore
Although hand surgery for lumps in the hand is not always needed, it may be required if they are becoming bigger or painful or if they get infected or inflamed. However, rest assured that surgical removal will be advised accordingly by your doctor only when you really need it.
If you do require surgery, knowing what to expect following the procedure might help to calm your nerves and expedite the recovery process. Read up more about what to expect and the tips that will help you after hand surgery.
If you notice a growth in your hand, do not hesitate to reach out to us here at Advanced Hand, Wrist and Nerve Centre.
Our doctor, Dr Jacqueline, will be able to advise the appropriate investigations and treatments to manage your condition and allay any fears you may have.