Non-Cancerous Skin Conditions
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Angiomas are a benign growth that consists of small blood vessels. They can be found on any part of the body and look like a red or purple mole on the skin. They are not dangerous and do not need to be treated unless they bleed or become bothersome. If you have one you would like removed, please schedule an appointment. We use a state of the art vascular laser to treat angiomas.
Brown Spots (Lentigo) are also known as sun spots, liver spots or age spots. They are caused by a combination of sun damage and aging. Prolonged sun exposure can cause the skin cells to produce more melanin. Increased amounts of melanin can result in the formation of brown spots. Brown Spots may fade with the careful use of sun protection and regular use of anti-aging creams. However, brown spots may be removed more rapidly and effectively with a chemical peel or laser treatment. To prevent future brown spots wear sunscreen on a daily basis.
Cysts are noncancerous and do not result in long-term or serious complications. A cyst is a closed pocket of tissue that fills with fluid or pus. You can find them located anywhere on the skin and can appear at any age. Cysts can develop as a result of infection, clogging of oil glands, tumors, or a simple obstruction to the flow of fluid, and can vary in size.
Skin cysts appear as an abnormal lump on the skin and are usually painless, slow-growing and smooth to the touch.
Some cysts do not need treatment. They will disappear on their own. Treatment of cysts depends on the location and size of the cyst. Some will need to be drained and/or removed. It is advisable to contact Dr. McKay for treatment of a cyst.
Dilated blood vessels are often referred to as ‘broken’ blood vessels. The vessels are not ‘broken’ but are dilated so they appear more prominently on the surface of the skin. Dilated blood vessels are caused by sun damage, trauma, medications, estrogen, surgery, pregnancy, autoimmune diseases, liver disease and rosacea. They often appear on the face and legs.
Dilated blood vessels are not life-threatening, but they often make people self-conscious, especially if they appear on the face. Laser treatment is the most effective treatment for broken blood vessels with very few side effects. The light from the laser is absorbed by the blood that destroys the vessel. The vessel will disappear restoring the skin to its natural appearance. Larger vessels may require multiple treatments while smaller vessels may only need a single treatment.
Milia can develop at any age and is a white bump that appears just under the skin and is caused by skin cells that do not naturally exfoliate. Milia is caused by several factors such as heavy use of skin care products, genetics, prolonged history of sun damage and certain skin diseases. Milia can develop at any age and is a white bump that appears just under the skin and is caused by skin cells that do not naturally exfoliate. Milia is caused by several factors such as heavy use of skin care products, genetics, prolonged history of sun damage and certain skin diseases.
Moles often appear as small, dark brown spots on the skin, anywhere on your body. Most moles are harmless and don’t require special care, but in some cases may become cancerous. The surface of the mole may be smooth, wrinkled, flat or raised. Two types of moles that are always a concern are congenital moles and atypical moles (dysplastic moles). These two types of moles are at a much higher risk of being cancerous. If you notice any of the following symptoms from a mole, promptly make an appointment.
• Asymmetrical (when one half of the mole looks different)
• Itching or burning
• Suddenly different size, shape, color (especially if part or all of the mole turns black) or elevation
If we find the mole suspicious, we will take a biopsy of the mole to determine if it is cancerous. If the mole is cancerous, then the entire mole and a margin of normal tissue around the mole will be surgically removed. This procedure can be done in the office, in a short amount of time.
Be proactive. Become familiar with your moles and check them on a regular basis, ideally once a month. If you detect any changes in a mole contact us. To prevent skin cancer, avoid overexposure to the sun and wear sunscreen at all times. You should also wear protective clothing such as hats, long sleeves and pants.
Seborrheic Keratosis is a common noncancerous skin growth that grows on the out layer of the skin and can develop on any part of the body. They usually appear as we age and will be light tan to black and are often round or oval with a flat or slightly elevated feel.
These growths do not need to be treated, but you may opt for treatment for cosmetic reasons or if they are irritated by your clothes rubbing on them. If you decide to get a growth treated a doctor can remove the growth by freezing with liquid nitrogen, vaporizing the growth with a laser or scrape the skin's surface with a special instrument.
Skin tags are common benign skin growths that look like a small piece of soft, hanging skin. Skin tags are typically painless and do not grow or change over time. Skin tags occur from skin rubbing up against other skin and are often found on the neck, in the armpit area or groin area. They are more common in people who are overweight.
Tags do not need to be treated, but if they become bothersome you can get them removed. Effective ways to medically remove a skin tag include freezing with liquid nitrogen, removing with scissors or burning.
A wart is a skin growth caused by a viral infection called the human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV infects the top layer of skin. The virus enters the broken skin causing the skin to form a wart. Warts typically grow on hands and feet, but can develop on other parts of the body. Warts are contagious and can be spread to other parts of your body or you can infect another person.
The 5 different types of warts:
Common Warts – Usually grow on the hands, they are gray-brown, rough and shaped like a dome.
Filiform Warts – Usually grow around the mouth, neck, eyelids and nose. They are long, narrow, cone-shaped and the same color as your skin.
Flat Warts – Usually grow in clusters on the face, arms or legs. They are quite small and are flat and smooth. They are light yellow-brown or even pink.
Periungual Warts – Grows under and around the toenails and fingernails. They look like rough bumps with an uneven surface and border.
Plantar Warts – Grow on the soles of the feet. They are like hard, thick patches of skin with dark specks. Over time warts will often go away by themselves. If the wart is bothersome you can have it treated. You can apply salicylic acid to the wart on a daily basis, but this could take months. A doctor can freeze a wart using liquid nitrogen or the doctor can burn the wart off using cantharidin. Warts can also be removed using laser therapy or surgery.