What is the most common benign facial skin lesion?
Papillomas (skin tags) can occur in childhood, but they become more common with age. They are also subject to hormonal changes and pregnant women often develop new skin tags. Skin tags are typically an aesthetic concern and do not cause any further problems. However, they may be associated with diabetes and obesity so you should have your blood sugar and weight checked by your primary care physician if you notice a sudden onset of many skin tags.
What are the signs that a skin lesion could be cancerous?
Any suspicious lesion on or near your eyelid should be examined by a physician. There are several warning signs that are suggestive for cancer. These include the “ABCDEs:”
- Borders are irregular
- Color variation: More than one color
- Diameter: Size is greater than a pencil eraser
- Evolution: Anything new ie growth, bleeding or itching
How are these lesions removed?
These lesions can be removed using cryosurgery, cautery, or radiofrequency. Cryosurgery involves applying liquid nitrogen to the surface to freeze the skin tag. Cautery and radiofrequency both use high heat to burn off the skin tag. In both cases the skin tag falls off on its own. In some cases, a scalpel or special scissors is used to remove the lesion and may be sent to a laboratory for examination.
Usually removal is performed in the office using a local anesthetic. Other cases require the equipment and safety of an operating room. After the lesion is removed, you will likely be asked to apply an antibiotic ointment to prevent infection.
Control of bleeding and infection is extremely important. Therefore, only a physician should remove skin tags. Never try to do this on your own at home.