What are Skin Lesions?
A skin lesion is an abnormality found on the skin, found in the form of a bump, sore or newly formed pigmentation on the skin. While most skin lesions are benign, you may still want to have them looked by a doctor to ensure that they are indeed harmless.
Skin lesions can vary in size and color but are often some sort of actinic keratosis, mole or a pre-cancerous mole. Most skin lesions will fall into either the category of moles or actinic keratosis.
Moles are marks on the skin created from pigment producing skin cells. Some moles can be flat or raised and they can also vary in shape, size, and color. Due to all of this variation, it can be hard to identify a threatening lesion on your own. Because of this, the safest bet is to have it looked at by a doctor especially if it has only popped up recently. Moles can be found anywhere on the body and can even have hair growing out of them.
Pre-cancerous moles look similar and often start as a result of sun damage. These moles may resemble regular moles at first but often begin to morph or change over time which is typically the point where it is important to be seen by your doctor.
Actinic Keratosis is a skin lesion that is often raised and comprised of thick scaly skin that has the tendency to crust. This condition occurs most commonly in fair-skinned people after spending too much time in the sun for a period of years. Some lesions of this type can be considered precancerous and have about a 20% chance of progressing into squamous cell carcinoma.
How are Skin Lesions Treated?
If you have noticed a lesion developing or if it is a relatively new development, it is very important to have it examined. To be safe, a sample or a biopsy of some cells will be taken and sent to the lab for testing. This testing will determine if the lesion is cancerous or not. Either way, you will still probably have the lesion removed just in case the cells were to mutate later on. For removal, Dr. Ehrmantraut will numb the area with an anesthetic and excise the lesion with a scalpel. Depending on the size of the lesion Dr. Ehrmantraut will perform a complex closure with sutures to help minimize the scar.
Skin Lesion Recovery
Following skin lesion treatment, patients should return to the office in for a follow-up appointment to check that the lesion is healing correctly and also to get lab results. Depending on the lab results of your lesion, further treatment may be necessary. Dr. Ehrmantraut will provide you with very specific post-treatment instructions to help ensure a safe recovery.
If you have noticed a new growth or legion, contact our Maryland office today to schedule an appointment! We proudly serve patients all over the state of Maryland and Northern Virginia.