Excision of Skin Lesions

Home Dermatology Excision of Skin Lesions

A skin lesion is a part of the skin with abnormal tissue formation. This skin disorder causes the affected area to appear different from its surroundings. These lesions can be benign (harmless) or severe. They may appear in just one place on the body or all over the skin.

The shape of these lesions may also vary. Some lesions are symmetrical, while others can be irregular. 

Lesions occur for some particular reasons and are differentiable based on their looks. To find out the reason behind a lesion on your body, your doctor will look at its:

  • Size
  • Color
  • Location
  • Texture

What are the two categories of skin lesions?

The two main categories of skin lesions are primary and secondary skin lesions.

Primary lesions

Primary lesions can be present at birth or may develop later in a person’s lifetime. These lesions are divided into three groups:

  • Fluid-filled lesions; for example, vesicles and pustules
  • Solid-mass lesions; for example, nodules, skin tags, and tumors
  • Flat lesions; for example, macules and patches

Secondary lesions

Irritation or manipulation may cause a primary lesion to change its shape and structure. This changed lesion is called a secondary lesion. For example, scratching a mole can lead to its bleeding and infection, after which it may transform into a crust. This crust is a secondary lesion. Secondary lesions may also occur when particular primary lesions worsen after being left untreated.

Who is a candidate for skin lesion removal?

Skin lesion removal is a recommended option for anyone for whom skin growth is a cosmetic concern or a source of physical discomfort. This treatment becomes even more necessary if the lesion turns out to be a cancerous or precancerous formation. The severity of these lesions is generally analyzed during screening tests.

Skin Lesion Excision Procedure

Skin lesion removal is a medical procedure performed in a clinical setting after applying a numbing solution or topical anesthesia. It is generally an outpatient procedure.

The procedure for removing a lesion generally depends on its size, type, and location. Your surgeon may send the excised lesion to a lab where experts would examine its tissues to determine whether it is cancerous.

Skin Lesion Removal Techniques

At EuroMed Clinic Dubai, we use four techniques to remove a skin lesion. Here is a brief overview of those techniques.

Shave Excision

The shave excision technique helps remove lesions with a raised projection from the skin. This technique can also remove lesions lying on the upper skin layer.

The surgeon or dermatologist first applies a topical anesthetic solution to the treatment area. Then, they use a blade to remove all or part of the lesion. This technique doesn’t usually lead to the need to stitch the treated area. In the end, medicine is applied to the treated region to stop any bleeding.

Simple Scissor Excision

This technique also helps remove lesions that rise above the skin surface or are present in the upper skin layer.

Your surgeon or dermatologist will first apply a topical anesthetic solution to the treatment area. After that, they will use small forceps to gently pull up the lesion and use small, curved scissors to cut the tissues around and under the lesion. They may also use a curette to remove any remaining tissues of the lesion.

Stitching is rarely needed after a scissor excision procedure. In most cases, medicine is applied to the wound to stop bleeding.

Cryotherapy

Cryotherapy involves freezing a tissue leading to its death. This technique is most commonly used to remove molluscum contagiosum, actinic keratoses, seborrheic keratoses, and warts.

Cryotherapy mainly involves applying liquid nitrogen to a lesion. This is done using either a probe with nitrogen flowing through it, nitrogen spray, or a cotton swab dipped in liquid nitrogen.

Freezing the tissue may cause discomfort, which is managed preemptively with a numbing solution applied before the procedure. The treated region may develop blistering, which disappears when the lesion peels away.

Laser Treatment

Laser treatment generally helps treat tiny skin areas with very particular types of cells or tissues. This treatment uses a laser beam that transforms into heat when directed to a lesion. This heat destroys the tissues that need to be removed without causing a wound. For this reason, the appearance of a lesion fades away quicker with laser therapy than with other treatment methods.

Laser treatment can help remove:

  • Warts
  • Moles
  • Benign skin lesions
  • Sunspots
  • Small blood vessels in the skin

What to expect when removing lesions?

Every type of skin lesion is different, and so is the treatment to remove it. Therefore, your skin’s response to the treatment and the steps you must perform to manage that response depends on the treatment method used. Generally, the treated area will be tender for a few days, regardless of whether or not there is a wound after the treatment.

It is generally advised to discuss your treatment plan with the clinical staff dealing with your problem. During this discussion, you can talk about the particular steps involved in skin lesion removal and resultant skin changes to know what exactly you should expect from your treatment.

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How do you take care of skin excision?

Taking care of your wound after the treatment is crucial. Your doctor may choose from the following options to take care of the treated area.

  • Do nothing. This is usually recommended when the treated area doesn’t need significant aftercare. The treated region, in this case, will heal on its own.
  • Your doctor may stitch the treated area to close the wound.
  • The doctor may consider skin grafting to cover the wound.

Instructions to take care of the treated region will differ depending on the skin excision technique. Here is a summary of procedure-specific aftercare instructions.

Caring for Stitches

Stitching is a procedure to sew the skin around the wound. This helps bring the edges of the wound together in order to prevent infection and scarring. Following are the steps to take care of your stitches.

  • Keep the treated area covered for a day or two after stitching.
  • Wash the treated site with water and mild soap during the first two days after treatment. Pat the skin dry.
  • Your doctor may instruct you to use petroleum jelly or an antibiotic ointment to keep the wound disinfected.
  • If the doctor has placed a bandage over the treated area, replace it with a new one every day.
  • Your doctor will decide when to remove the stitches. So, ensure to take care of the stitches until you have them.

Caring for an Open Wound

If your wound is not big and deep enough to require suturing, your doctor may choose to leave it open. However, this doesn’t mean the site of skin lesion removal requires any less care. Depending on the aftercare requirements, the doctor may recommend placing a dressing over the treated area or leaving it open to the air.

It is generally advised to clean and dry the treated region by washing one to two times a day. This helps prevent the formation of crust, aka secondary lesion. Your provider may also suggest:

  • Using petroleum jelly or an antibiotic ointment on the wound
  • Avoiding pulling off the dressing dry when it sticks to the wound

Additionally, you may be instructed not to use peroxide, alcohol, skin cleansing solutions, and soaps with harsh chemicals to prevent damage to the wound tissue.

Skin Lesion Removal Benefits

All skin lesion removal treatments are highly effective and provide various benefits. Let’s discuss some of those advantages.

  • An effective cure for cancerous and precancerous lesions: The risk of a lesion becoming cancerous is one of the most pressing reasons you need to get rid of it. Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) are the two most common skin cancers on the face or neck. A simple surgery helps eliminate these skin growths and prevent their future recurrence.
  • The cosmetic benefit: A lesion on the face, neck or other visible body parts can be a significant aesthetic concern, mainly due to its abnormal coloring or structure. Such lesions can be removed surgically or through non-surgical methods like laser and cryotherapy. This helps achieve a flawless, spotless skin surface.
  • Quick treatments: A skin lesion removal treatment is quick, whether surgical or non-surgical. At most, a lesion removal procedure can take 30 minutes. The average duration of this treatment is 5-15 minutes.
  • Faster healing: Besides short durations, skin lesion removal treatments also lead to quicker recovery. Even a surgical treatment leaves a wound so small that you can measure it in millimeters. The recovery after lesion removal is fast and doesn’t obstruct a patient’s routine life. Hence, you can get back to work or resume other everyday activities right after the procedure.
  • Generally pain-free: No matter how scary they may sound, skin lesion removal treatments are the least uncomfortable procedures. This is because the area of lesion removal treatment is usually smaller, and anesthetic solutions used before the treatment prevent pain during the course. When the effects of anesthesia wear off, you may feel some discomfort, which is quite manageable with medications.

How much does it cost to have a growth removed?

The cost of skin lesion removal varies from person to person and depends significantly on the treatment technique. The final price of the treatment also depends on the size of the growth.

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Excision of Skin Lesion FAQs

How long do skin lesions take to heal?

It generally takes one to three weeks for a wound to heal after skin lesion removal. The skin areas treated with surgical lesion removal methods typically take longer to heal than those treated with non-surgical procedures.

Does removing lesions hurt?

Doctors usually perform a skin lesion removal treatment after applying a topical anesthetic solution to the treatment area. This numbs the treatment site and makes the procedure painless. When the anesthesia wears off, you may feel discomfort, which can be managed easily with prescription medication.

What does a skin lesion look like?

According to the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, a skin lesion is an abnormal growth that may occur in the form of a bump, lump, skin tag, sore, ulcer, or a skin patch with a different color from its surroundings.

Get an Appointment

Do you want to get rid of that unwanted lesion on your skin? We at EuroMed Clinic Dubai are there to help. We have top-rated, board-certified dermatologists and surgeons who use their extensive skills to address all your skin issues. For more information or to book a consultation at our clinic, please fill out the form below.

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    Dr. Fazeela Abbasi MD

    Physician Specialist Dermatology

    Dr. Fazeela Abbasi has been in the field of dermatology since 2003. She is a DHA-licensed dermatologist specializing in advanced laser techniques, Botox, PRP therapy, rosacea treatment, etc.

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