Dermatologists are specially trained in the removal of lesions on the skin. At United Dermatology we remove a variety of benign and malignant lesions. The method of removal will depend on the type of lesion in question, and sometimes it may be necessary to perform a skin biopsy first in order to obtain a definitive diagnosis.
We perform all of our procedures in the office under local anesthesia. Surgical techniques performed in the office include excisional surgery, electrosurgery, and cryosurgery. If you have any questions or concerns about the growth on your skin, it is best to schedule an appointment so that we may evaluate the lesion and offer treatment recommendations.
BCCs are abnormal, uncontrolled growths or lesions that arise in the skin’s basal cells, which line the deepest layer of the epidermis (the outermost layer of the skin). BCCs often look like open sores, red patches, pink growths, shiny bumps, or scars and are usually caused by a combination of cumulative and intense, occasional sun exposure.
BCC almost never spreads (metastasizes) beyond the original tumor site. Only in exceedingly rare cases can it spread to other parts of the body and become life-threatening. It shouldn’t be taken lightly, though: it can be disfiguring if not treated promptly.
A cyst is a closed sac, having a distinct membrane and division on the nearby tissue. It may contain air, fluids, or semi-solid material. A collection of pus is called an abscess, not a cyst. Once formed, a cyst could go away on its own or may have to be removed through surgery.
A lipoma is a growth of fat cells in a thin, fibrous capsule usually found just below the skin. Lipomas aren’t cancer and don’t turn into cancer. They are found most often on the torso, neck, upper thighs, upper arms, and armpits, but they can occur almost anywhere in the body. One or more lipomas may be present at the same time.
Lipomas are the most common noncancerous soft tissue growth.
Nevus is the medical term for sharply-circumscribed and chronic lesions of the skin. These lesions are commonly named birthmarks and moles.
Melanoma is a malignant tumor of melanocytes. Melanocytes are cells that produce the dark pigment, melanin, which is responsible for the color of skin. They predominantly occur in skin, but are also found in other parts of the body, including the bowel and the eye (see uveal melanoma). Melanoma can occur in any part of the body that contains melanocytes.
Skin neoplasms are skin growths with differing causes and varying degrees of malignancy. The three most common malignant skin cancers are basal cell cancer, squamous cell cancer, and melanoma, each of which is named after the type of skin cell from which it arises. Skin cancer generally develops in the epidermis (the outermost layer of skin), so a tumor can usually be seen. This means that it is often possible to detect skin cancers at an early stage. Unlike many other cancers, including those originating in the lung, pancreas, and stomach, only a small minority of those affected will actually die of the disease, though it can be disfiguring. Melanoma survival rates are poorer than for non-melanoma skin cancer, although when melanoma is diagnosed at an early stage, treatment is easier and more people survive.
An acrochordon, also known as a (cutaneous) skin tag, or fibroepithelial polyp, is a small benign tumour that forms primarily in areas where the skin forms creases, such as the neck, armpit, and groin. They may also occur on the face, usually on the eyelids. Acrochorda are harmless and typically painless, and do not grow or change over time. Though tags up to a half-inch long have been seen, they are typically the size of a grain of rice. The surface of an acrochordon may be smooth or irregular in appearance and is often raised from the surface of the skin on a fleshy stalk called a peduncle. Microscopically, an acrochordon consists of a fibro-vascular core, sometimes also with fat cells, covered by an unremarkable epidermis. However, tags may become irritated by shaving, clothing or jewelry.
A wart is generally a small, rough growth, typically on hands and feet but often other locations, that can resemble a cauliflower or a solid blister. They are caused by a viral infection, specifically by human papillomavirus 2 and 7. There are as many as 10 varieties of warts, the most common considered to be mostly harmless. It is possible to get warts from others; they are contagious and usually enter the body in an area of broken skin. They typically disappear after a few months but can last for years and can recur.
Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC or SqCC), occasionally rendered as “squamous-cell carcinoma”, is a histologically-distinct form of cancer. It arises from the uncontrolled multiplication of transformed malignant cells showing squamous differentiation and tissue architecture. Squamous cell carcinoma is one of the most common cancers, and frequently forms in a large number of body tissues and organs, including skin, lips, mouth, esophagus, urinary bladder, prostate, lung, vagina, and cervix, among others. Despite the common name, squamous cell carcinomas often show large differences, depending on where they develop, in their presentation, natural history, prognosis, and response to treatment