Skin lesions are anything that changes the normal appearance of the skin at any part of the body. These may be indistinguishable and small like a mole or a wart, and some may be big and noticeable such as rashes, bumps and blisters. Skin lesions are generally unattractive, but the main concern with a skin lesion is if it is harmful or not to our health. Most of the skin lesions are benign, which means they do not cause cancer. However, some skin lesions are cancerous. If you have a skin lesion and you’ve noticed that it has apparently changed size over time, or if it hurts you in any way, it is best to see your doctor right away to have it checked.
Types of Skin Lesions
There is a huge variety of types of skin lesions. They are differentiated according to size, quantity, distribution, color and texture. The following lists down some of the most common types.
- Macules – Macules are very common. They are flat, circular and small as they only measure less than 10 mm. Any other skin lesions bigger than 10 mm are considered as patches.
- Papules – Papules are rough skin lesions that are usually found on persons with psoriasis, syphilis and skin cancer. Papules are 1cm in size with the color varying from pink to reddish or brown.
- Vesicle – These skin marks are small, with a round or oval shape, and may contain clear fluid, pus or blood.
- Pustule – A pustule is like a vesicle except that it is more raised. The most common example of a pustule is acne.
- Nodules – Nodules are skin lesions that are not too visible on the skin, but can be felt when touched. These are hard masses of tissues that are benign and measure up to 2 cm. A cyst is a common example of a nodule.
- Wheal – This particular type of skin lesion is associated with eczema. It is an itchy and reddish patch that is a result of an allergic reaction, an insect bite or a drug reaction. A wheal is also medically termed as urticaria.
- Scars – A scar is a common type of skin lesion found on the skin after a wound has healed. An example of a scar is a keloid.
- Telanglectasia – Telanglectasia is a type of a skin lesion that is brought about by a dilated blood vessel. The skin would look pinkish with a reddish web like formation. This mark on the skin often appears when there is a systemic disease such as rosacea and scleroderma.
Causes of Skin Lesions
Skin lesions are caused by a variety of factors. They can be caused by injury, age, allergy and illness:
- Skin conditions
There are factors that affect the normal flora of the skin, such as dirt, air pollution and the likes that would result to acne, warts, boils and carbuncles. There are also genetically inherited skin lesions like freckles and benign moles.
A skin lesion could result because of a minor or major injury. For instance, too much exposure to the sun would result to sunburn; while extremely cold temperatures could also lead to frostbite and peeling of the skin. An insect bite or sting can give rise to bumps or scrapes if scratched too much.
As a person ages, the skin becomes more fragile and more prone to bruises. Age spots and discoloration commonly form which are forms of skin lesions.
A rash could appear as a result of an allergic reaction to something taken in or had come in contact with which one is allergic to. Some examples would include fake jewelry that could irritate your skin or medications could cause rashes if you are allergic to one of its components. If this happens, contact your doctor so that the appropriate action can be taken.
Some bacterial infections, such as scarlet fever, are accompanied by rashes. Likewise, there are also infections caused by viruses which can lead to the formation of boils and rashes. An example of a viral infection that produces skin marks is chickenpox. Chronic diseases like diabetes can lead to discoloration of the skin.
There are also serious conditions that can cause skin lesions. For instance, an anaphylactic reaction with swelling of the throat would cause hives and rashes. This is life threatening because the inflammation could close up the airways. Another example is skin cancer which causes rashes, boils and bumps.
Treatment for skin lesions
The treatment for a skin lesion greatly depends on the cause. It is therefore wise to consult a skin doctor or dermatologist to confirm the kind and cause of the skin condition, and determine the best course of action. Typically, the doctor would probably prescribe topical antipyretic creams or ointments. But if removal of the skin lesion is the objective, surgery is also an option.
Skin lesions pictures
Here are skin lesion pics along with types