The skin lesion is the part of the skin that grows abnormally or the appearance of the lesion is different as compared to the skin around the lesion. Skin lesions are bumps or the patches and it also causes many issues.
Most of the skin lesions are harmless, but some are warnings of skin cancer. In this article, we will look at most of the most common types of skin lesions.
Skin Lesion Definition
Skin is the important and largest organ of the body. The skin has three layers; these are epidermis, dermis, and subcutaneous tissue. Any trauma, inflammation, or infection occurring into these layers on the skin can lead to skin lesions.
A skin lesion may occur on any part of the body and it covers the small or large area. Skin lesions occur in singular or multiple, confined to one specific area of the body or it distributes widely.
It includes cysts, swelling, bumps, hardening, blisters, pus-filled sacs, discolorations, or any other changes in or on the skin surface. Skin lesions may result from a wide range of causes, as harmless as, a small scrape or serious skin cancer.
According to the one study, American Society For Dermatologic Surgery, describing a skin lesion is an abnormal lump, sore, color, bump, or colores area of the skin. There are two categories of skin lesions that exist these are: primary and secondary.
Primary skin lesions are abnormal skin conditions that present at birth or it acquires over the person’s lifetime. Secondary skin lesions are the result of irritation or manipulate the primary skin lesions.
For example, if someone scratches their mole until it bleeds, then its resulting lesion, a crust, is known as a secondary skin lesion. There are many common causes of skin lesions just like an injury that can cause a scrape, bruise, or cut.
Teenagers have skin lesions from acne, while aging may bring freckles, discoloration, and moles. A number of infectious diseases can cause rashes and allergic reactions may occur in itchy hives or rashes.
(Also read: Fordyce Spots & Granules – Treatment And Symptoms)
Some skin lesions can occur with chronic conditions, such as autoimmune disorder, or diabetes. Lesions, such as boils and carbuncles that may be caused by local infections of the skin or hair follicles. Skin cancer and the precancerous changes on the skin are the most serious cause of the skin lesions.
These lesions commonly appear on the areas of the body that have been exposed to the sun, including the face, hands, and arms. Because the lesions can arise from the numerous conditions, that may be harmless or serious conditions.
If you have a new skin lesion that causes concern or it lasts for more than a day or two, or if your child has a skin lesion, that your healthcare provider recommends. Skin lesions are usually mild conditions, but in some cases, it is a sign of a serious health condition.
If you face difficulty in breathing or experiencing fainting, you feel throat swelling, having small red dots or loss of consciousness, larger bruises that appear immediately after taking a new medication.
Then consult with your doctor. If you and your children develop a rash along with a fever then immediately call for medical care.
If you discover that mole or dark skin lesion has changed significantly, or skin lesion is persistent, or it causes concern then seek medical care.
What Are The Health Reasons That Cause Skin Lesions?
There are many reasons, that may cause skin lesions. The most common causes of skin lesions are injury, allergies, aging, infectious diseases, and the small infections of the skin or the hair follicles.
Some chronic diseases such as diabetes or autoimmune disorders cause skin lesions. Some skin lesions also cause and appears as skin cancer or precancerous changes.
Here are some causes of skin lesions.
Acne commonly occurs on the face, chest, neck, shoulders, and upper backs. When the acne breakout on the skin then they compose, blackheads, pimples, whiteheads, or deep, painful cysts and nodules.
Acne is harmless for some people, but for some other people, it can lead to scarring or low self-esteem. Acne develops when the pores of the skin clogs with the dead skin cells and the skin’s natural oil which is known as sebum.
When the bacteria also get into the clogged pore then the inflaming the lesions. If the acne untreated then it may leave scars or darken the skin.
People who have mild acne may find the OTC products that contain benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid are effective for acne.
These products usually show any results in 4 to 8 weeks. If the acne becomes more severe or OTC products do not work on you then see a doctor.
2. Actinic Keratosis
Actinic keratosis can develop in the skin that receives a lot of sun exposure such as, arms, scalp, neck, hands, and face.
It looks like the flesh-color, brown pink, scaly, thick, or crusty skin patch. Actinic keratosis is typically less than 2 cm or about the size of a pencil eraser.
People who have actinic keratosis may have a high risk of developing skin cancer.
Doctors are recommending surgery, light therapy, and creams for the treatment of actinic keratosis.
3. Herpes Simplex
HSV-1 and HSV-2 viruses can cause oral and genital lesions. These blisters are painful and occur alone or in clusters.
They also weep clear yellow fluid and then crust over it. The herpes simplex signs also include mild-flu and symptoms such as fatigue, headache, swollen lymph nodes, decreased appetite, body aches, and fever.
Stress, sun exposure, menstruation, and illness are responsible for the recurring blisters.
The infection of staphylococcus or streptococcus bacteria is known as colloquially. The staph or strep bacterias cause impetigo.
The impetigo is a skin infection that forms a red sore that is surrounded by red skin.
Impetigo is the most common infection which occurs in children and babies. These rashes mainly occur around the mouth, nose, and chin.
These skin lesions are filled with pus and it becomes pimples, that can break open and crust over.
Impetigo is contagious and they spread easily. Doctors treat these impetigos with antibiotics.
5. Cold Sore
The herpes simplex virus can cause contagious infections. But the person may only realize or notice that when they have a cold sore.
The red and painful fluid blisters are forming on or around their lips. The affected areas will tingle or burn before the sore is visible.
The cold sores tend to reappear from time to time and the stress and exposure of skin into the sunlight are among the various factors that can trigger an outbreak of the sores.
Usually, the cold sores are going away on their own in a few weeks and they don’t need any treatments.
Some people use OTC creams which contain acyclovir to ease the symptoms of cold sores and also speed up the healing process.
Some symptoms of cold sores are low fever, swollen lymph nodes, and body aches
6. Contact Dermatitis
Dermatitis can appear hours to days after contact with an Allergan. Rash dermatitis has a visible border and they appear where your skin touches the irritating substances.
The skin around dermatitis becomes itchy, red, raw, or scaly. The blisters become weep, ooze, and also become crusty.
Eczema is one of the common issues that appear as itchy, raw, and red patches of skin.
These occur anywhere on the body. They may resemble the burn and they are often found on hands and forearms.
Well, experts also don’t know what is the cause of eczema, but eczema is not contagious.
Eczema is a chronic condition which means there is no cure, but with the medications and lifestyle changes can manage the symptoms.
The National Eczema Association recommends that people who have eczema:
- Should avoid anything that makes your eczema more worse.
- Take bathe and moisture your body every day
- Use all the medication that is prescribed and recommend by the doctors
Psoriasis is usually formed on the patches of the itchy or scaly skin. The patches of psoriasis appear on the knees, scalp, or the elbows, but they can also develop on the other part of the bodies.
The scientists do not know the exact cause of psoriasis. Because psoriasis is an autoimmune condition and it is caused by the problems of poor immune systems.
Well, there is no cure for this skin lesion but still, there are several treatments available for them.
Ointments and OTC creams can give relief to some people while some need a proper prescription of medication.
When the skin is injured and the watery liquid that is called serum leaks into the damaged area from the surrounding tissues.
This can form the bubble on the skin which is known as the blisters. Blister areas may be smaller than 1 cm or it is larger than 1 cm.
It can occur alone or in groups. It can appear anywhere on the body. The most common causes or blisters are allergies, rubbing, burns, and infections.
This skin lesion usually goes away on their own, but popping or bursting these blisters can increase the risk of infections.
The chickenpox clusters are itchy, red, and fluid-filled. These blisters occur in various stages of healing all over the body.
Chickenpox causes fever, sore throat, body aches, and loss of appetite. It remains contagious until all the blisters are crust over.
The allergic reaction causes hives and it looks like a red, itchy, and bumpy rash. Hives are warm, red, and mildly painful to the touch.
They appear in a small, round, and ring shape, it is large in shape or the randomly shaped. Usually, hives go away own their own.
But if anyone notes a serious allergic reaction then contact the emergency services. Here are some warning signs of hives are:
- Swelling and tightness in the throat
- Rapid heartbeat
- Having trouble in breathing
- Pain in abdominal
- Nausea with or without vomiting
Shingles are a very painful rash that may cause a burn, itching, and tingle, even if there are not any blisters present.
The shingles rashes are comprising clusters of fluid-filled, these blisters break easily and sweep fluid.
Shingles emerge in a linear stripe pattern that appears most commonly on the torso, but they may also occur on the other parts of the body such as the face.
Rashes cause low fever, fatigue, chills, and headaches.
The boil is the bacterial or fungal infection of a hair follicle or the oil glands.
These skin lesions appear anywhere on the body, but the most common areas are neck, face, buttock, and armpits. Boils look like red, painful raised bumps with yellow or white centers. It may rupture and weep the fluids.
The growth of nodules is small to medium and they are fills with tissues, fluid, or both.
Usually, the nodules are wider than a pimple and may look like firm, smooth elevations under the skin.
Nodules are harmless but it may cause discomfort when it presses on the other structures. It appears deep inside the body where you cannot easily see and feel them.
Bullae are clear watery, fluid-fills blisters that are greater than 1 cm in size. It causes by friction, the contact of dermatitis, and some other skin disorders.
When the clear liquid of bullae is turning milky then it is a sign of infections.
16. Sebaceous Cyst
Sebaceous Cyst is generally formed on the surface of an organ. It also develops on the various internal organs of the body. Most of the cysts are harmless, while many large cysts cause pressure and pain.
They are usually filled with the air and infected with semi-solid substances or fluid such as sebum.
A sebaceous cyst causes a defect during fetal development just like an infection or some unknown reasons. Many people notice small and hard lumps under their forearms or wrist. These lumps are a form of cyst that is called a sebaceous cyst.
While the lumps that occur in the wrist are known as ganglion cysts. In some people, cysts are developed on their vocal cords.
It also occurs on the scalp or face. A sebaceous cyst is not cancerous and they are harmless but they are extremely painful.
If the cyst does not drain naturally then surgical intervention is necessary.
A skin lesion that covers the small and large area of the skin. Rashes typically causes by an allergic reaction.
This allergic reaction usually occurs when the person touches any poison. Rashes are defines as noticeable changes in the texture or color of the skin.
The rash can causes by many things including allergic reactions, medication side effects, bacterial skin infection, autoimmune disease, fungal skin infection, or infectious disease.
Many skin rash can treat with the home remedies, but severe rashes those seen in combination with other symptoms such as vomiting, pain, fever, dizziness, or difficulty in breathing require urgent medical treatment.
(Also read: Amoxicillin Rash – Treatment of skin rash for Adults and Toddlers)
18. MRSA (staph) Infection
MRSA infection causes by the Staphylococcus or staph bacteria that are resistant to many different antibiotics.
It causes infection when it enters through a scrape or cut on the skin. These skin infections look like a spider bite and they are painful.
It also raises as a red pimple that may drain pus. MRSA infection in need of powerful antibiotics to treat.
It also leads to more dangerous conditions like cellulitis or blood infections. It also needs emergency medical attention.
The symptoms of keloids occur at the skin of a previous injury. Keloids are rigid and lumpy areas of skin which are itchy and cause pain.
The area of keloids is red pinot flesh color.
This condition needs a medical emergency. Cellulitis causes when the bacteria or fungi enter through the crack or cuts in the skin.
Cellulitis occurs in red, painful, and swollen skin with or without the oozing which spreads quickly. It is burns and tender to the touch.
Cellulitis also causes chills, fever, red streaking from the rash that might be a sign of serious infections and needs medical attention.
Warts are small and non-cancerous tumors that grow on the tops of the skin. It resembles a solid blister or looks like a cauliflower.
It seems light or very dark in color as compared to the surrounding skin. Usually, warts are painless but it may cause burning and itching on the skin.
Warts are caused by viral infections which are known as human papillomavirus virus. The HPV is contagious and it can pass from person to person by direct or indirect contact.
This virus is also spread from one person’s body location to another. This virus enters the body through the peeling, crack, or moist area of skin.
But not all HPV virus develop warts and there are different kinds of warts, including:
- Common warts usually grow on the fingers or the back of the hand so it is sometimes called seed warts.
- Flat wart most commonly appears on the face and forehead on the infected person. These warts can occur in large numbers, with many warts cluster together.
- Plantar warts grow on the pressure points like the bottom of the feet, but a large number of warts may cause difficulty in walking, jumping, running, and even in standing. These warts look callous so it is important to consult with the doctors to diagnose them.
- Genital warts are grown on the genitals or in the pubic area. They appear between the thighs and inside the vagina and anal canal. Genital warts transform from one person to another through sexual activities.
22. Scabs Definition
The symptoms of scabies may take four to six weeks to appear. Scabies causes an extremely itchy rash and maybe pimply.
These scabies are made up of tiny blisters or scaly. They rise in white or flesh tone lines.
The fungus can cause ringworm, this skin lesion can form in a circular rash. Ringworm can appear on any part of the body, these rashes usually surround by itchy, scaly, red skin, and hair loss.
Sometimes people call ringworm on the feet athlete’s foot or ringworm on the groin jock itch. People are using OTC creams, powders, and lotions to treat ringworm.
The ringworm that appears in the scalp is known as tinea capitis and it usually requires a prescription of antifungal medication. Ringworm treatment can take 1 to 3 months’ time.
A mole is a spot on the skin which is usually round or oval in shape. Moles are small or larger in size and they are brown, black, red, or pink in color.
The moles on the skin may be flat or they are raised on the skin. In the medical terms, skin moles are referred to as a nevus.
Moles on the skin are common and it can appear on any part of the body. These skin moles are easily removed by using several different methods.
The three main types of moles are:
Congenital mole: People are born with this type of mole and this can appear in any size and any part of the body.
Common: Most of the adults have 10-40 common moles on their body. These moles are typically harmless, these tend to appear above the waist, the areas where the sun exposes the most.
Atypical: The skin cancer melanoma forms in atypical moles, it is usually larger than a quarter or an inch in diameter. These moles are not round and note more than one color.
The people who have a typical mole on their skin should monitor them closely because it can turn into skin cancer.
So check the difference in the way that they look or feel, and speak to a doctor if you see any changes.
What Causes Skin Lesions?
The most common cause of lesion is an infection on or in the skin. Here is the cause of type skin lesion:
Common Causes Type Of Skin Lesion
Some changes in the appearance of the skin can cause common conditions such as:
- Skin tags
- Nevi and other benign skin growth
- Boils and carbuncles
Injury-related Causes Of Skin Lesions
A skin lesion also caused due to the physical injury including:
- Burns, including sunburn
- Insect bites or stings
- Extreme cold
- Excessive exposure to sun or wind
(Also read: Flea Bites: What Do Flea Bite Look Like On Humans)
Age-related Cause Of Skin Lesions
Skin lesions can cause by the process that relates to aging such as:
- Age spots
- Fragile skin
- Easy bruising
Illness-related Type Of Skin Lesions
The skin lesion is also caused by another illness such as:
- Bacterial infections such as meningococcal meningitis or fever, a serious condition that is caused by group A Streptococcus that can cause a skin rash.
- Systemic illnesses such as diabetes that can lead to changes in skin color or the texture of the skin, as well as sores and other lesions that occur due to the poor circulation and poor wound healing.
- Viral infections such as varicella-zoster that cause skin lesions at many stages of life.
Allergy-related Cause Of Skin Lesions
- Food allergies
- Contact dermatitis that may cause by the reaction to nickel in jewelry
- Allergies to medications
- Serious or Life-threatening Cause of skin lesions
- In some cases, these skin lesions are the symptom of a serious or life-threatening condition that can evaluate immediately in an emergency setting.
- Serious allergy-like rash or hives that associate with the anaphylaxis and swelling of the mouth and throat.
- Precancerous and skin cancer changes are also causes of skin lesions.
- Infections that spread all over the body are often marked by reddened and swollen skin that along the lines of veins in an arm or legs.
What Are The Types Of Skin Lesion?
There are two types of skin lesion primary and secondary skin lesion;
The Primary Type Of Skin Lesions
Birthmarks are the primary type of skin lesion, acne, rashes, moles are also the sign of this skin lesion. Some other types of primary skin lesion are:
A wheals skin lesion cause by the allergic reaction for example hives.
Nodules are solid and raise skin lesions, most of the nodules are more than 2 cm in diameter.
Pustules are small lesions that are fills with pus, it is the result of impetigo, boils, or acne.
Macules are flat and freckles moles, these are small spots that are red, white, and brown color. Macules are usually about 1 cm in diameter.
A papule is a raised skin lesion. Most of the papules develop many other papules. The patches of nodules and papules are called a plaque.
Plaques are the most common issue in those people who have psoriasis.
The rash is the skin lesion that covers the small or large areas of the skin. These rashes are caused by an allergic reaction.
One of the most common causes of these allergic reactions occurs when someone touches the poison ivy.
The small blisters are also known as vesicles. These blisters are skin lesions that file with clear fluids and are less than ½ centimeter in size.
Larger vesicles are called bullae or blisters. These skin lesions are the result of:
- Insect bites
- Steam burns
- Viral infections
- The friction that is caused by clothes or shoes
Secondary Types Of Skin Lesions
When the primary type of skin lesion is treated then it develops into the secondary skin lesion. The most common secondary skin lesion includes:
Scales are patches of skin cells that build upon the skin and then flake off the skin.
A crust or scab is created when the dry blood is formed over the irritated and scratched skin lesion.
3. Skin Atrophy
Skin atrophy occurs when areas of the skin become wrinkled and thin from the overuse of the topical steroids or the poor circulation.
Physical trauma or bacterial infection is the cause of ulcers. Ulcers are often accompanied by poor circulation.
Some scrapes, cuts, scratches that leave scars which are not replaced with healthy and normal skin.
Instead of this skin returning as a thick and raised scar these scars are called a keloid.
Who Is At Risk For Skin Lesions?
Some skin lesions are hereditary, so some people with the family members who have moles or freckles develop those two types of lesions.
People who are allergic skin then there is more risk that they can affect the skin lesions that are related to other allergies.
The people who are suffering from autoimmune diseases such as the psoriasis are at risk for a skin lesion.
How To Diagnose Skin Lesions?
In order to diagnose a skin lesion, consult with a dermatologist or doctor for a physical exam.
So, the dermatologist or the skin specialist performs certain diagnose tests or do some procedure to diagnose the skin lesions, include:
- During the physical examination, the dermatologist examines the characteristics of the lesion.
- Type of the lesion
- Pigmentation or color
- Skin texture
- Surface area
- Shape and symmetry
- Distribution over the body surface
- Blood test perform to find out the eosinophil levels in cases of allergies like hives.
- To confirm the diagnosis such as melanoma, the biopsy performs by obtaining a skin sample.
Doctors also observe the skin lesions and know all symptoms of lesions. They also take the skin samples and perform a biopsy of the affecting area or they take a swab from the lesion and send the lab.
How To Determines The Extent Of The Skin Cancer
When the doctor determines that you have skin cancer, then they do some additional tests to determine the stage of skin cancer. Because superficial skin cancers such as basal cell carcinoma are rarely spread.
So the biopsy that will remove the entire growth, is the only test that your doctor needs to determine the cancer stages.
But if the person has a large squamous cell carcinoma, melanoma, or Merkel cell carcinoma, then the doctor will recommend further tests to determine the extent of cancer.
Additional tests include imaging tests to examine the nearby lymph nodes for signs of cancer or the procedure to remove the nearby lymph nodes and test them for the signs of cancer.
The doctors use the Roman numerals I through IV that indicate cancer’s stage. Stage I cancers are small and it limits the area where cancer begins.
Stage IV is an advanced stage of cancer that can spread to other areas of the body.
So, the stages of skin cancer lesion help to determine which treatment is most effective.
Skin Lesions Treatments
Skin lesions treatments are based on the underlying causes and causes of lesions. Doctors will determine the type of lotion, personal health history, and the treatment that was attempted previously.
Medications For Skin Lesions Treatments
The first treatment of skin lesions is often topical medications that help to treat the inflammation and protect the affecting area.
The topical medications provide mild symptoms of relief. It stops the itching, pain, or burning sensation that causes by the skin lesion.
If the skin lesion is the result of a systemic infection such as the chickenpox, shingles, then the doctor will prescribe the oral medications that will help to ease the symptoms of the disease like skin lesions.
Surgeries For Skin Lesions
The skin lesion that gets infected is typically draines and lance to provide the relief and treatments.
Just like the suspicious moles that change the over time may need to be removed by the surgeries.
This type of vascular birthmark which is called hemangioma results from the malformed blood vessels. Dermatologists use laser surgery to remove this type of birthmark.
Home Care For Skin Lesions
Some skin lesions are itchy and uncomfortable, but you can treat them at home and provide them relief. Lotion and oatmeal baths can give you relief from the burning and itching that causes by certain skin lesions.
If chafing is the cause of contact dermatitis in the places where the skin rubs itself against the clothing.
Then the protective balms or absorbent powders can give relief to the friction and prevent the additional skin lesions to develop.
How Are Skin Lesions Removes?
The skin lesions are cut off the skin, removes, and frozen off by using heat, light, or laser therapy.
If the patient has lesions and has a surgical procedure, then it can take up to three weeks for the wound to heal.
It also takes a few weeks to remove lesions to scan and comes off after having the cryotherapy. Here are some skin lesion removal ways:
Cryotherapy is also known as cryosurgery. In the cryotherapy, doctors use liquid nitrogen to remove abnormal skin tissues.
This treatment is especially recommending for the actinic, moles, warts, basal cell carcinomas, and keratoses.
Using the cold of the liquid nitrogen doctors will target and freeze any abnormal cells. After this procedure, the frozen tissues are thaw and dissolve from a scab.
2. Surgical Excision
The surgical excision or excisional biopsy relies on surgery to remove the cells or skin samples from the skin surface.
This performs to rule out or diagnose serious skin conditions and diseases. The scalpel using during the procedure to remove the lump or an entire area of abnormal skin.
During this procedure, the small sample of normal skin and fatty tissues are removes to check the abnormal cell growth.
3. ESKATA To Skin Lesions
The FDA has approved the treatment of ESKATA for raised seborrheic keratoses.
It is a topical treatment that uses hydrogen peroxide to remove the SKs and make your skin clear.
What Are Potential Complications Of Skin Lesions?
The complications of skin lesions depend on the cause of the lesion. But the direct complications of the skin lesion is include permanent changes in the skin like scars.
Some other complications of the lesions such as rash or melanoma that accompany serious infections. These lesions are serious or even life-threatening.
Because of the serious disease and failure to seek treatment these skin lesions cause serious complications and permanent damage.
Once this underlying cause diagnose, then it’s important to follow the treatment plans that your healthcare professional design for you.
These treatments can help to reduce the risk of potential complications include:
- The Altered pigmentation
- Adverse effects of treatments
- Organ failure or dysfunction
- Cosmetic disfigurement
- Spreading infections
- Progression of symptoms
- Spread of cancer
How To Prevent Skin Lesions
Most of the skin lesions are prevents by maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Here is some prevention of skin lesion are:
- Keep your skin always clean and moisturize
- Drink enough water and keep your body well hydrate
- Avoid triggers that can aggravate allergic reactions.
- Avoid sun exposure
- Do not share your personal equipment with anyone such as razors, towels, or skin care products such as gels and lotions.
- Reduce stress
- If you notice any unusual lesion on the skin then consult with the dermatologist.
When To See A Doctor
The OTC products do not provide relief to lesions and also do not resolve the acne, psoriasis, eczema then contact with the doctor.
So he will prescribe you medication in the forms of pills, lotions, and creams. But there are no OTC treatments for the impetigo, so if anyone has this infection then consult with the doctor.
Ringworms on the scalp also require medical attention, so people who have ringworm then speak to the doctor.
The person who has keratosis and if they notice the new moles or some changes in existing moles should contact the doctor.
Some Words For Skin lesions
There is a range of health issues and skin factors such as clothes or shoes that are rubbing against the skin can cause skin lesions.
Some skin lesions are cold sores and blisters, well usually these skin lesions go away own their own within a few weeks.
But some other lesions such as psoriasis and eczema are long term conditions that need proper treatments.
In many cases, doctors can treat lesions that can become cancerous. The people who have concerns about skin cancer should contact the doctors immediately.