As people age, skin tumors can become a common issue. These can be either malignant (cancerous) or benign (harmless). Some of the common benign lesions people in Hartford, New Haven, Norwalk, Greenwich and Avon notice with age include warts, nevi (birthmarks or moles), solar lentigos (age spots),and seborrheic keratoses (skin growths that could be skin colored to dark brown in color).
Most lesions are easily recognizable as benign, and these don’t require a biopsy. Some lesions are not identifiable, and these need to be biopsied to determine if they are benign or malignant. Lesions that appear to be malignant need to be biopsied to confirm a diagnosis of malignancy before performing an excision and reconstruction. Dr. Stanislaw works with a dermatopathologist to determine whether the lesion is benign or malignant.
What causes benign skin tumors?
No one knows the cause of benign tumors of the skin, however heredity seems to play a role.
What is the treatment for benign skin tumors?
Usually no treatment is required for benign tumors, however people often dislike the appearance of these benign skin lesions and wish to have them removed. There are usually three treatments for benign lesions of the face.
- Chemical Peel: A chemical peel is used for flat pigmented skin lesions of the face, neck, and hands. A mild acid is applied to the pigmented spot, and the acid removes the pigmented cells. Vaseline is applied to the site for 7 to 10 days. After this time, the skin heals and the new skin is slightly pink for a couple days to weeks.
- Shave incision: A shave incision shaves off the top of a raised lesion and does not require any sutures. Shaving the top of the lesion, leaves the base of the lesion and allows the possibility of recurrence. Shave incisions are best performed in locations where total surgical excision is difficult or where a linear scar is not desirable.
- Surgical excision: A surgical excision is a procedure where the entire lesion (top and bottom) is removed. Surgical excision can be performed on both flat and raised lesions and requires the placement of sutures. The benefit of surgical excision is that the risk of recurrence of the lesion is very low. The drawback of surgical excision is that it results in a scar. Everything is done to minimize the scar following surgical excision.
The treatment options for a specific benign lesion will be discussed during your consultation with Dr. Stanislaw. Patients interested in learning more about benign skin lesions can contact Dr. Stanislaw at Stanislaw Facial Plastic Surgery Center for more information.