Skin lesions are any area of your skin that’s abnormal from the skin around it. Skin lesions are common and are often the result of an injury or damage to your skin, but some have the potential to be cancerous.
A skin lesion is a part of the skin that has an abnormal growth or appearance compared to the skin around it.
Two categories of skin lesions exist: primary and secondary.
Primary skin lesions are abnormal skin conditions present at birth or acquired over a person’s lifetime.
Secondary skin lesions are the result of irritated or manipulated primary skin lesions. For example, if someone scratches a mole until it bleeds, the resulting lesion, a crust, is now a secondary skin lesion.
Since there are a wide variety of skin lesions that exist, there are many possible causes, including:
Symptoms of your skin lesion could vary depending on what type of lesion you have. General symptoms include:
If you notice your skin lesion is increasing in size or shape, is causing you severe pain, is bleeding or leaking pus or won’t heal as you expected — or if you have other associated symptoms like fever, joint pain, swelling or anything concerning to you — visit your healthcare provider immediately.
Treatment is based on the underlying cause or causes of the skin lesions. A doctor will take into account the type of lesion, your personal health history, and any treatments previously attempted.
First-line treatments are often topical medications to help treat the inflammation and protect the affected area. Topical medication can also provide mild symptom relief to stop pain, itching, or burning caused by the skin lesion.
If your skin lesions are the result of a systemic infection, such as chickenpox or shingles, you may be prescribed oral medications to help ease the symptoms of the disease, including skin lesions.
Infected skin lesions are typically pierced and drained to provide treatment and relief.
Suspicious-looking moles that have been changing over time may need to be removed surgically.
A type of birthmark called hemangioma results from malformed blood vessels. Laser surgery is often used to remove this type of birthmark.
Some skin lesions are very itchy and uncomfortable. You may want to try home remedies for relief.
Oatmeal baths or lotions can provide relief from itching or burning caused by certain skin lesions.
If chafing is causing contact dermatitis in places where the skin rubs against itself or a piece of clothing, absorbent powders or protective balms can reduce friction and prevent additional skin lesions from developing.