ISLAMABAD: Six months ago, my eagle-eyed mum pointed at my eye and asked: 'What's that?' She took my finger, asked me to close my left eye and made me gently trace my eyelid.
 
And there it was - a small painless nodule to one side of my eyelid.
 
My GP gave me some much-needed reassurance: the lump was a benign cyst called a chalazion.
 
They are very common, I learned, and are caused by a blocked gland, which means fluid builds up under the eyelid.
 
I was told that if I wanted it gone, there was only one option - surgery to drain away the pus. Worse still, on reading up about it, I discovered that chalazions can recur.
 
The NHS has a policy of refusing surgery unless the chalazion is painful or causing problems, meaning many patients have to... well, lump it.
 
Online forums show people are trying all sorts of DIY treatments to get rid of benign but irritating skin growths like mine. But are alternative remedies medically sound?
 
We ask the experts about six common, non-cancerous skin growths and the treatments that work.
 
A skin tag - a small flesh-coloured or darker brown growth that tends to grow where skin chafes on skin or clothing, such as the neck, armpits, around the groin or under the breasts.
 
They are particularly common in older people, those with diabetes and pregnant women.
 
Dr John Lear, a consultant dermatologist at the Alexandra Hospital in Cheadle, Greater Manchester, says: 'You first need to make sure they are benign and not anything more serious.
 
'If they start bleeding, itching, feel sore, change in shape, size or colour, or crust over, you must get them checked out.'