Common Superficial Lesions

Skin lesions are remarkably common and the overwhelming majority of them are benign. However, when such lesions occur on the face they can be unpleasant and cause distress. Among the most common of such lesions are seborrheic and actinic keratoses, pyogenic granulomas, and nevi (moles).

Seborrheic keratoses are usually a brown-black color and may appear crusty or wart-like. Of all superficial lesions seborrheic keratoses are the most common. They occur frequently on the sun-exposed areas of older patients, especially on the face, neck and trunk. It is not uncommon for them to ooze and bleed when irritated. Many people often mistake seborrheic keratoses for skin cancer or melanoma. Seborrheic keratoses are however completely benign with no malignant potential.

Actinic Keratoses are flat, pink, scaly lesions that can develop in sun-exposed areas and are more common in fair skinned patients whose skin has been exposed a lot to the sun. They are most common on the ears, forehead, hands, neck, and nose. Over time, actinic keratoses can get bigger, thicken, and occasionally become cancerous. Approximately one in fifty actinic keratoses will become cancerous.

Nevi are more commonly known as moles. Moles can appear on their own or in clusters, and are usually harmless collections of pigmented cells called melanocytes. Moles are more common on the head, neck, and torso and they can vary enormously in terms of size, shape, color, and amount of hair present. Moles can also be present in more obscure locations. Most people have between 10 to 40 moles, they usually appear between the ages of 2 and 20 and some may disappear with age. Although many people are concerned about moles they rarely become cancerous.

Pyogenic granuloma is a vascular lesion that occurs on both mucosa and skin, and appears as an overgrowth of tissue due to irritation, physical trauma, or hormonal factors. It is often found to involve the gums, the skin, and nasal septum and but may also be found elsewhere on the body.

Laser Treatment

Using ablative (vaporizing) and/or vascular lasers, we are able to treat all non-cancerous lesions, usually with one treatment.

A local anesthetic is all that is needed and the skin will heal within two weeks without scaring.