Not all Growths Are Created Equal: Benign Lesions
Particularly as we age, it is not uncommon for small growths and lesions to gradually appear on our bodies and faces. Skin tags, warts, cysts, and other harmless lesions that appear can become aesthetically unappealing. While many skin growths are indeed benign, it’s important to have them examined by an experienced clinician who can diagnose the nature of the growth and ensure that it is benign. If it is worrisome or bothersome Dr. McGinness can recommend an effective and appropriate means of treatment.
If you are concerned about a skin lesion or irregularity, Dr. Jamie L. McGinness can help. Dr. McGinness is a Board certified dermatologist specializing in the treatment of skin cancer, specifically with Mohs surgery, an advanced, highly effective technique that has up to a 99% cure rate! In fact, Dr. McGinness is the only Fellowship-trained Mohs surgeon in the Metro East Illinois St. Louis area. Dr. McGinness does not offer “cookie-cutter”, one-size-fits-all treatment plans. Instead, he takes the time to get to know you and your medical history and background in order to ensure that the treatment approach he develops for you will have the greatest possible chances of success.
Types of Benign Skin Lesions
Benign skin lesions are, by nature, not life-threatening. However, if a lesion would grow or change prompt evaluation should be sought to ensure the lesion is in fact benign. Early evaluation and treatment, if necessary, of developing, changing, or growing skin lesions is very important to ensure that they are not cancerous.
- Seborrheic keratosis—these skin colored to dark, scaly plaques are among the most common benign skin lesions. They are increasingly common with age, and can become irritated, inflamed, or unsightly. Cryotherapy is often the preferred treatment method.
- Nevus—nevi, or moles, are a common type of skin lesion, and can either be benign or cancerous. Benign nevi are typically smooth-sided and symmetrical—however, any nevus that appears to be new or changing should be examined by a clinician.
- Cherry angioma—these small, reddish benign growths typically appear on the trunk or limbs, and often increase with age.
- Dermatofibroma—these firm lesions are often found on extremities. Although often asymptomatic, they can become irritated or unsightly, and can be treated with simple excision.
- Skin tags—these soft, skin colored to brownish growths are very common, particularly with increased age, obesity, or pregnancy. Although rarely problematic, these can become irritated, particularly if caught in clothing. A simple snip excision is typically all that is necessary to remove them.
- Lipoma—these fatty tumors are typically soft and often require no treatment. However, depending on placement of the tumor, they may put pressure on the surrounding tissue, causing pain and functional impairments. In these cases, excision may be used to remove the growth.
- Epidermal inclusion cyst—these benign cysts are typically asymptomatic unless ruptured. A ruptured cyst may require corticosteroids and incision and drainage.
- Milium—these small, white cysts can appear just under the upper layer of skin. They are harmless, but can be removed for cosmetic reasons
Contact Dr. Jamie L. McGinness
Dr. Jamie L. McGinness is a Board certified dermatologist and the only Fellowship-trained Mohs surgeon currently serving the Metro East Illinois St. Louis area. His dedication to excellence in patience care is backed by years of specialized training and coupled with the same compassion, caring, and personalized attention you expect from your family doctor. His goal is to work closely with you, your dermatologist (if you have one), and your primary care physician to develop a personalized course of dermatologic treatment designed to successfully address your specific health concerns.
If you are concerned about moles or other lesions, we encourage you to contact Dr. McGinness and schedule your consultation today.