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Skin Lesions – What Are They, Types, Causes, Diagnosis & Treatment

skin lesion treatment

What are Skin Lesions?

Skin lesions, in their simplest form, are any abnormality or deviation from the skin’s natural appearance. These can manifest for any manner of reasons, ranging from minor injuries or infections to more severe underlying health conditions. Whilst most of these lesions are benign and pose no significant threat to you, some can be harbingers of more severe medical issues. Hence, we cannot state the importance of understanding and correctly identifying your lesions enough. It is most important to identify the difference between benign and non-benign lesions.


Different Types of Skin Lesions

Benign Lesions

Moles (Nevi)

Moles are small, pigmented spots that can manifest anywhere on the skin. These clusters of pigmented cells are generally harmless. However, it’s essential to monitor them using the ABCDE rule: Asymmetry, Border irregularity, Colour variation, Diameter (larger than 6mm), and Evolving size, shape, or colour.  We can have a mole removal service here at Derma Revive


These are contagious growths caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). They can appear anywhere but are most commonly found on hands and feet.

Skin tags

Tiny, known as accordions, are benign out-growths often appearing in areas of skin folds like the neck, armpits, or groin. They’re more of a cosmetic concern than a medical one but can cause problems if they rub.

Seborrheic keratoses

These are often brown or black growths with a waxy and slightly elevated appearance. They’re common with age and are non-cancerous.

Cherry Angiomas

Cherry angiomas are small, bright red bumps that appear on the skin due to the clustering of small blood vessels. Common in adults over 30, they’re usually harmless and don’t require treatment unless for cosmetic reasons.


Lipomas are soft, fatty lumps that form under the skin, often on the neck, shoulders, or back. They’re slow-growing, painless, and typically benign, requiring treatment only if they become bothersome to you

Malignant Lesions

Please remember the ABCDE rule when it comes to identifying lesions. If in any doubt at all, consult a doctor.

Basal cell carcinoma

This is the most prevalent form of skin cancer. It often manifests as a white, waxy lump or a brown, scaly patch, especially in areas frequently exposed to the sun.

Squamous cell carcinoma

This cancer is characterised by firm, red nodules or flat lesions with a crusty surface. They often develop in sun-exposed areas but can appear anywhere.


A particularly aggressive form of skin cancer, melanoma can develop anywhere on the body. Monitoring moles for any changes is vital, as melanoma often arises from existing moles.

Inflammatory and Infectious Lesions


A prevalent skin condition, especially among teenagers, results in pimples, cysts, and nodules. It primarily affects the face, chest, and back.


This chronic condition results in red, itchy, and scaly patches. It’s an autoimmune disorder, meaning the body’s immune system attacks healthy skin cells.

Eczema (Atopic Dermatitis)

This condition causes the skin to become red, itchy and inflamed. It’s common in children but can occur at any age.


A highly contagious bacterial skin infection, it causes red sores, especially around a child’s nose and mouth.

Common Causes of Skin Lesions

Genetic Factors

Some lesions, like moles and freckles, are hereditary.

Environmental Exposures

Sun exposure

Prolonged sun exposure, including tanning beds, can lead to various skin lesions, including actinic keratosis and skin cancers.

Chemical exposure

Certain chemicals, when they come into contact with the skin, can lead to lesions or allergic reactions.



Conditions like impetigo.


Examples include warts and cold sores.


Ringworm and athlete’s foot are common fungal skin infections.

Autoimmune Disorders: Conditions like psoriasis and eczema arise when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks its skin cells.

Diagnosing Skin Lesions

Physical Examination

A visual assessment by a healthcare provider is the first step.


This tool offers a magnified view of the skin, aiding in the identification of malignant lesions.

Skin Biopsy

A biopsy might be called for if the examining practitioner suspects your lesion.

Shave biopsy

Removes a small skin surface piece.

Punch biopsy

Removes a deeper skin layer section.

Excisional biopsy

The entire lesion is surgically removed.

Treatment Options for Skin Lesions

Topical Treatments

Creams and ointments can be used to treat everything from acne to certain skin cancers.


A method where lesions, like warts, are frozen off.

Surgical Procedures


The lesion is surgically removed.

Mohs Surgery

A precise technique to treat skin cancer.

Laser Therapy and Photodynamic Therapy

These light-based treatments can address various skin conditions.

Radiofrequency Energy

Devices utilising RF energy are very useful in removing certain skin lesions.

Medications and Systemic Treatments

Some conditions might require oral medications or treatments that affect the entire body.

Prevention and Self-Care

Regular Skin Checks

Early detection of suspect skin lesions could turn out to be vital to your health.

Sun Protection Measures

No amount of UV exposure is classed as ‘safe’. Even on cloudy days or in the shade, protection is necessary.

Using Sunscreen

Protects against harmful UV rays.

Wearing Protective Clothing

Offers added sun protection.

Maintaining Skin Health


Hydrated skin can prevent certain conditions.

Avoiding Irritants

Avoiding harsh chemicals can prevent skin reactions.


Diet can play a big part in keeping your skin healthy. Nutrients and vitamins help nourish the skin and give it what it needs to stay in good shape. We don’t need to tell you this but just try to adopt a healthy diet if you want your skin to be healthy.

Final Thoughts on Skin Vigilance

Understanding, identifying, and treating skin lesions early can prevent complications and lead to better health outcomes. Regular skin checks, sun protection, and proper skin care are paramount. When in doubt, always consult an expert.