Skin Lesion Removal

While most skin blemishes are harmless, they can definitely be unsightly. Otherwise known as lesions, these imperfections could take the form of growths, moles, brown spots, or vein imperfections beneath the skin.

The techniques for removing these lesions can be just as numerous. Your doctor will likely advise you on the best option for lesion removalbased on the size and location of the growth you would like to eliminate.

No matter the course of treatment, most skin lesion removal therapies are an outpatient procedure. In most cases, a local anesthetic is used so patients experience a minimal amount of pain, and recovery times are generally only a few weeks.

Excision

Excision is a minor surgical procedure where the skin growth is physically cut off with a scalpel. This type of treatment is not only effective in removing lumps, bumps, and discolorations, but it is generally the best way to prevent the growth from returning.

During the procedure, your doctor will sanitize the area being treated, before injecting it with a local anesthetic. The lesion will be removed with an elliptical shaped incision which makes it easier to stitch. These stitches are generally removed within a couple of weeks.

Cryosurgery

During cryosurgery, doctors use an extremely cold substance such as liquid nitrogen to freeze the lesion and destroy the abnormal skin cells. It can be administered with a cotton applicator or an aerosol spray.

It is most commonly used to treat a condition known as actinic keratosis. Actinic keratosis is caused by overexposure to the sun and appears as red or brown patches that are scaly or crusted in texture.

Curettage

This technique can be effective for any superficial skin lesion that extends beyond the surface of the skin. Unlike the excision where a small patch of skin is entirely removed, curettage involves the scraping away of the lesion with a spoon-like instrument.

Electrosurgery

There are two main forms of electrosurgery: electrofulguration and electrodesiccation.

Lasers

There are a number of laser therapies available that can be used to treat vascular lesions such as spider veins or pigmentation's otherwise known as brown spots. The process for each technique is similar though.

Focused beams of light are aimed at the areas of treatment where they heat up the blood vessels or brown spots that are to be removed. The vessels or surface cells are damaged by this light and are eventually absorbed by the body.

Author
Gul A. Zikria, MD, FACOG As an expert in preventive care, innovative treatment solutions, and laparoscopic surgery, board-certified OB/GYN Gul A. Zikria, MD, FACOG, is a trusted practitioner who’s been in private practice since 1985. Dr. Zikria earned his doctor of medicine from Rutgers New Jersey Medical School in Newark. He went on to complete a competitive surgical residency program at Georgetown University in Washington. Dr. Zikria then went through a comprehensive obstetrics and gynecology residency program through the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center at the Magee-Women’s Hospital. He welcomes new and existing patients to his practice in Milpitas, California.

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