What causes raised lesions and how do I treat them?

Symptom Database

Have you ever noticed raised lesions or skin bumps on your body and wondered what could be causing them? These skin growths, also known as skin abnormalities, can appear as raised skin patches, skin lumps, skin protuberances, skin eruptions, raised skin sores, or skin nodules. While they can be concerning, it’s important to understand that there are various causes for these raised lesions, and they can often be treated effectively. In this article, we will explore the different factors that can lead to raised lesions and discuss potential treatment options.

1. Infections

One common cause of raised lesions is infections. Bacterial, viral, or fungal infections can result in the formation of skin bumps or sores. For example, conditions like cellulitis, impetigo, or herpes can cause raised lesions on the skin. Treating the underlying infection is crucial in resolving these skin abnormalities. Antibiotics, antiviral medications, or antifungal creams may be prescribed by a healthcare professional to combat the infection and promote healing.

2. Allergic Reactions

Allergic reactions can also lead to the development of raised skin patches or bumps. When your body reacts to an allergen, it releases histamines, which can cause inflammation and result in skin abnormalities. Common allergens include certain foods, medications, insect bites, or contact with irritants like poison ivy. To treat these raised lesions, it is important to identify and avoid the allergen. Over-the-counter antihistamines or topical corticosteroids may be recommended to alleviate symptoms and reduce inflammation.

3. Skin Conditions

Several skin conditions can manifest as raised lesions. Examples include eczema, psoriasis, or dermatitis. These conditions often cause red, itchy, and scaly patches on the skin. Treatment for these skin abnormalities may involve the use of moisturizers, topical corticosteroids, or immunosuppressant medications. It is essential to consult a dermatologist for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan.

4. Cysts and Tumors

Raised skin sores or nodules can sometimes be cysts or tumors. Cysts are fluid-filled sacs that can develop beneath the skin, while tumors can be benign or malignant growths. It is crucial to have any new or changing skin growths evaluated by a healthcare professional. Depending on the nature of the cyst or tumor, treatment options may include surgical removal or other medical interventions.

5. Inherited Conditions

Some individuals may be prone to developing raised skin lesions due to inherited conditions. For instance, neurofibromatosis is a genetic disorder that causes the growth of benign tumors on the nerves. These tumors can appear as raised skin patches or nodules. While there is no cure for neurofibromatosis, management of symptoms and regular monitoring by a healthcare professional can help ensure early detection of any complications.

6. Trauma or Injury

Raised skin abnormalities can also result from trauma or injury to the skin. Burns, cuts, or insect bites can cause the formation of raised lesions during the healing process. Proper wound care and keeping the affected area clean can aid in the healing process and prevent infection. In some cases, medical intervention may be necessary to promote healing and minimize scarring.

7. Autoimmune Disorders

Autoimmune disorders, such as lupus or scleroderma, can lead to raised skin patches or lumps. These conditions occur when the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissues, including the skin. Treatment for autoimmune disorders often involves managing symptoms and reducing inflammation. Medications, such as corticosteroids or immunosuppressants, may be prescribed by a healthcare professional.


Raised lesions on the skin can be caused by various factors, including infections, allergic reactions, skin conditions, cysts, tumors, inherited conditions, trauma, or autoimmune disorders. It is important to consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan. While some raised lesions may resolve on their own, others may require medical intervention. Remember, early detection and timely treatment can significantly improve outcomes. Take care of your skin and seek professional advice if you notice any concerning skin abnormalities.

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