60 minutes


Types of skin lesions & treatment

A lesion is the appearance of a wound, ulcer, abscess, or lump on or beneath the skin, which may or may not be malignant.


new skin cancer cases in the UK annually
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people suffer from psoriasis

Benign skin lessions

A high percentage of skin lesions are benign, and these include:

Skin growths (dermatofibromas).
Lipomas (fat deposits beneath the skin).
Acne scarring.
Pilar and epidermoid cysts.
Skin growths, basal cell papillomas, warts.
Skin tags.
Spider veins.

Malignant skin lesions
The main symptom of skin cancer is a lump or discoloured patch on the skin that doesn’t heal. If you develop a lump, lesion or discoloration on your skin you should see a doctor. Skin lesions are often referr


There a number of possible causes of a skin lesion, depending on the type of lesion and other symptoms you have. The most common causes are infection by viruses, bacteria, fungi, or parasites. They may also be caused by allergies, environmental irritants, or underlying health conditions such as circulatory disease or diabetes. They may also be genetically inherited from your parents.

What to do next

For any type of skin lesion, our experienced doctors and specialist dermatologists will be able to examine and advise you and send you in the right direction for treatment.

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What is a lesion?
Lesions are blemishes or changes that appear on the skin, which are different from moles. There are several different types of lesion. The most common are: macules (flat and less than 1cm in diameter), papules (elevated lesions, less than 1cm in diameter, such as warts, lichen planus, acne, rashes, urticaria and insect bites), plaques (more than 1cm in diameter, and elevated from the skin surface, with a flat or round top), nodules (firm lesions such as cysts, lipomas, and fibromas which extend into the subcutaneous tissue), and pustules (which contain pus and are usually due to infection or inflammatory conditions).
Two common forms of non-melanoma skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Basal cell carcinoma usually appears as a small lump, red or pink in colour, which may begin with a pearly, waxy, or scaly quality, and then develop into a painless ulcer, or bleed and become crusty. Squamous cell carcinomas are firm lumps, pink, with a flat, scaly, or crusted surface, which feels tender to touch and bleeds easily.
Melanoma is the most aggressive type of skin cancer. It can spread into other organs. The most common sign is a new mole, or a change in the appearance of an existing mole.

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