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Skin Lesions

Skin Lesions

Seborrheic Keratosis

These are the most common benign skin lesions in older individuals. They are proliferation of skin cells that can appear in varied places; back, chest, neck, head, and extremities. They are usually brown, scaly, greasy, and round. There are various causes including genetic and environmental as it is thought that sunlight has a role in their development. They cause both physical and psychological problems. They frequently cause itching which can cause them to bleed. In addition, they may cause psychological stress due to their ugly appearance and reminder of aging. They can be easily removed through shave excision.

Skin tags

Skin tags are soft, benign growths that can develop in many different areas, but they prefer the neck and intertriginous regions such as skin folds (axillae, groin, ect). They may be caused by frequent irritation and have a tendency to get caught on clothes and necklaces. They may be associated with type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance. Their incidence increases with age as 59% of all persons may have them by the age of 70. They are easily removed through a snip excision, or can be destroyed with electrocautery or frozen with liquid nitrogen.

Actinic Keratosis

These are benign lesions that tend to be rough and small, usually smaller than a centimeter. They are the most common skin lesion with malignant potential as if they are not treated early, they can progress to squamous cell carcinoma. They are caused by ultraviolet light (sunlight exposure). They occur more commonly in fair skinned persons, on sun exposed areas (arms, face, ear, and on the bald scalp in men). Sometimes they are easier felt than being visualized. There are many ways to treat them including: cryosurgery (freezing with liquid nitrogen), shave excision, topical products, chemical peels, and laser resurfacing. They are most common in people over 50 years of age.

Warts (Verruca vulgaris)

They are proliferation of skin caused by a virus (The Human Papillomavirus). They occur on the skin and mucous membranes. Some warts will disappear with no treatment. They are usually asymptomatic, but can cause emotional distress because of their appearance and location. They can be treated with topical agents, such as salicylic acid, injections, or cryosurgery (liquid nitrogen)