29 Oct Lesions, Skin Tags, Warts, & More: Why Self-Diagnosing is Dangerous
What’s this thing on my skin? The skin is the largest organ we have, and it’s critical to trust experts like Spectrum Dermatology to diagnose and treat all skin conditions. Skin can produce a variety of conditions that can be easily mistaken for something else. A “skin lesion” is an umbrella term for a variety of issues ranging from moles to warts or skin tags to cysts. In most cases, skin lesions aren’t cancerous. However, you always want to be certain and even benign skin lesions can be annoying or unsightly.
What Our Specialists Consider
Moles are one of the most common skin lesions, and they are usually non-cancerous. They can range in size or color, and they can be flat or raised. Technically, a mole is a “nevus,” and any nevus can be cancerous or pre-cancerous. Your dermatologist will biopsy any mole that is removed to be certain skin cancer isn’t present.
A cyst can develop on any organ, and in most cases they are also benign. Cysts are usually filled with fluid, sebum (oil), or air. They can be caused by an infection, be congenital, or occur for seemingly no reason at all. They feel hard and lumpy, especially in bony parts of the body. Cysts aren’t usually dangerous, but they can be very painful and require a dermatologist for safe removal.
Warts are very common non-cancerous tumors. They usually occur on the top layers of the skin and can range in color. Warts usually don’t hurt, but they can sometimes burn, itch, or otherwise be annoying. They are caused by HPV, which is a very contagious virus. Warts come in a variety of types including common warts, flat warts, and plantar warts. Over the counter treatments sometimes work, but if you really want to tackle your warts you’ll need dermatological intervention.
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Skin tags appear as flaps of skin and they can vary in shape, texture, color, and size. You’ll most often find them on the neck, elbow, eyelids, and armpits. These benign tumors are harmless, more common in women, and are most common in those aged 40+. However, they can be unsightly and get irritated with jewelry or clothes. Fortunately, they are easy to remove with an in-office procedure. Schedule your appointment today at Spectrum Dermatology to ensure a correct diagnosis and proper treatment for any skin condition.