About good and bad tumors

As a professional, she should always be able to classify when she should treat and when not, and in these cases recommend that the customer visit a dermatologist for clarification. In Part 1, two specialists in dermatology, Dr med Christine Schrammek and Christina Drusio present the "good" tumors. and what needs to be considered in the case of skin changes.


New growths of the skin are also called "tumours". The term tumor is quickly associated with cancer. From a medical point of view, a tumor initially only means an increase in tissue, proliferation or swelling - regardless of whether it is benign or malignant. Not only the dermatologist, but also the beautician must be able to distinguish between “good” (benign) and “bad” (malignant). The beautician learns the most important tumors of the skin and their differentiation in a well-founded training. However, the classification of skin tumors is complex. On the one hand, there are new growths on the skin that are completely harmless . As a rule, these do not turn into malignant changes and always grow slowly.

They respect the tissue boundaries and do not grow into neighboring structures. In addition, there are precancerous stages of the skin that only develop into a malignant tumor over time. Furthermore, one can still clearly distinguish malignant tumors of the skin, which can sometimes also form secondary tumors. Some of the benign tumors have existed since childhood, others are acquired - often due to UV radiation. A well-known example of a benign skin tumor is the nevus cell nevus, the classic brown birthmark. Nevus cell nevi are widespread, usually sharply demarcated, uniformly pigmented from light brown to reddish brown to dark brown, are at or slightly above the skin level. They often run in families and occur in different forms. Congenital nevi are rarer but larger and more asymmetric than acquired nevi. Acquired nevi are significantly more common and smaller. In some cases, these harmless marks can turn into "dysplastic" (irregular) naevi, which can develop into black skin cancer. Animal fur naevi are congenital, large, dark and hairy marks. They also have an increased risk of degeneration and can lead to black skin cancer even before puberty. The beautician should only cut the hair of an animal skin nevus on the skin surface and not pluck it, as this can transmit stimuli into the depths of the skin changes. In addition, animal skin naevi should be checked regularly by a doctor and removed as early as possible. Such peculiarities must be classified with certainty. Such as, for example, the so-called “halo naevus” .


This nevus is usually somewhat raised and is characteristically surrounded by an unpigmented, white area (English: "halo" = halo). Halo nevi are frequently seen in patients with vitiligo.



Seborrheic keratoses (“senile warts”) are particularly common and benign skin tumors .

These usually occur in clusters, especially on the trunk, and appear as round to oval, well-demarcated, often dark brown, hemispherical, soft-elastic tumors with a jagged, warty surface. They are often mistaken for black skin cancer (nodular malignant melanoma) because of their appearance, but they are completely harmless. However, they are often perceived as aesthetically disturbing. Dermatologists can remove them surgically or with a laser. Sometimes they fall off the skin on their own.

Other benign tumors that the beautician often sees in daily practice are fibroids . As skin-colored, soft and elastic benign connective tissue growths or skin tags (“skin tags”), they appear primarily on the neck, but also on the armpits.


There are also lipomas , so-called fatty tumors. These are benign, soft, well-demarcated new growths that are about two to five centimeters in size and lie under the skin. They occur particularly on the torso, but also on the arms or legs. Men are affected more often than women. Both fibroids and lipomas can be surgically removed. Recognize changes The beautician should not actively treat new growths of the skin, regardless of whether they are benign or malignant tumors, for example with removals or manipulations (microdermabrasion, peelings or peeling treatments). As a professional beautician, she should develop a very special eye for recognizing malignant skin changes in order to referher customers to a dermatologist in good time.


In the case of malignant skin tumors, a distinction is made between different precursors of cancer (precancerous lesions) and essentially black skin cancer (malignant melanoma)

and white skin cancer (basal cell carcinoma and spinal cell carcinoma). Precursors can progress to skin cancer. Therefore, a competent beautician can make an important contribution to early detection .



Please note! The ABCDE rule is used for the visual assessment of pigmented moles. Every beautician should master this rule and give it to their customers:

A – Asymmetry (uneven shape of the mole, not round or oval)

B – Boundary (fuzzy or irregularly bounded edge)

C – Colorit (non-uniform coloring, two or more color components, pay particular attention to black-grey veils)

D – diameter (over five millimeters)

E - Elevation/development (nodular or raised, change of mole over time)