What causes overgrowth of body tissue and what should I do?

Symptom Database

Overgrowth of body tissue, also known as excessive tissue growth, tissue overgrowth, or abnormal tissue growth, refers to the uncontrolled proliferation or hypertrophy of cells in a specific area of the body. This condition can occur in various parts of the body, such as the skin, bones, muscles, or organs, and can have a significant impact on a person’s health and well-being. Understanding the causes of tissue overgrowth and knowing what steps to take can help individuals manage this condition effectively.

Causes of Overgrowth of Body Tissue

There are several factors that can contribute to the development of tissue overgrowth. These include:

  • Genetic mutations: Certain genetic mutations can lead to abnormal cell growth and division, resulting in tissue overgrowth. Examples of genetic disorders associated with tissue overgrowth include neurofibromatosis and Proteus syndrome.
  • Hormonal imbalances: Hormones play a crucial role in regulating cell growth and division. Imbalances in hormone levels, such as an excess of growth hormone, can lead to tissue overgrowth. Conditions like acromegaly, characterized by excessive growth hormone production, can cause tissue hypertrophy.
  • Chronic inflammation: Prolonged inflammation in a specific area of the body can trigger abnormal tissue growth. Inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis or chronic infections can contribute to tissue overgrowth.
  • Environmental factors: Exposure to certain environmental factors, such as radiation or certain chemicals, can increase the risk of tissue overgrowth. For example, prolonged exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun can lead to the development of skin overgrowth, such as benign tumors or skin cancer.

Signs and Symptoms

The signs and symptoms of tissue overgrowth can vary depending on the location and extent of the abnormal growth. Some common symptoms include:

  • Visible lumps or bumps on the skin or under the skin
  • Changes in skin color or texture
  • Pain or discomfort in the affected area
  • Restricted movement or function of the affected body part
  • Compression of nearby structures, leading to symptoms like difficulty breathing or swallowing

If you notice any of these symptoms, it is important to consult a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Diagnosis and Treatment


Diagnosing the underlying cause of tissue overgrowth typically involves a combination of medical history evaluation, physical examination, and diagnostic tests. Your healthcare provider may order imaging tests, such as X-rays, CT scans, or MRI scans, to assess the extent of tissue overgrowth and identify any underlying abnormalities. Biopsy, where a small sample of the affected tissue is taken for laboratory analysis, may also be performed to determine the nature of the overgrowth.


The treatment options for tissue overgrowth depend on the underlying cause and the severity of the condition. Here are some common approaches:

  • Medications: In some cases, medications may be prescribed to manage symptoms or slow down the growth of abnormal tissue. For example, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may be used to reduce inflammation and relieve pain.
  • Surgical intervention: Surgical removal of the overgrown tissue may be necessary, especially if it is causing significant discomfort, impairing function, or posing a risk to other structures. This can involve procedures like excision, debulking, or tumor removal.
  • Radiation therapy: In certain cases, radiation therapy may be used to target and shrink abnormal tissue growth. This treatment modality is often employed for cancerous tissue overgrowth.
  • Hormonal therapy: If hormonal imbalances are contributing to tissue overgrowth, hormonal therapy may be recommended to restore balance and regulate cell growth.

It is important to note that the treatment options may vary depending on the specific condition and individual circumstances. Consulting with a healthcare professional is crucial to determine the most appropriate course of action.

Prevention and Management

While not all cases of tissue overgrowth can be prevented, there are steps individuals can take to reduce their risk and manage the condition effectively:

  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle: Adopting a balanced diet, engaging in regular exercise, and managing stress can help support overall health and reduce the risk of tissue overgrowth.
  • Protect against environmental factors: Take precautions to minimize exposure to harmful environmental factors, such as wearing sunscreen to protect against UV radiation or using protective equipment in hazardous work environments.
  • Regular check-ups: Schedule regular check-ups with your healthcare provider to monitor your health and detect any potential issues early on.
  • Follow medical advice: If you have a known genetic condition or hormonal imbalance, it is important to follow your healthcare provider’s recommendations for managing the condition and attending regular follow-up appointments.

By taking these preventive measures and staying proactive in managing your health, you can minimize the impact of tissue overgrowth and maintain a good quality of life.


Tissue overgrowth can be a challenging condition to manage, but with the right diagnosis, treatment, and preventive measures, individuals can effectively control its impact on their health and well-being. By understanding the causes, recognizing the symptoms, and seeking appropriate medical care, individuals can take control of their health and lead fulfilling lives.

Haroon Rashid, MD
Rate author
Urgent Care Center of Arlington, VA
Add a comment