Skin lesions are an infection or wound on the skin. Skin cancers, including melanoma, soft tissue masses, lipoma, and sebaceous cysts are common ailments the surgeons at Barrington Surgeons remove on a regular basis. Other skin lesions include warts, boils, and soft cell infections.
The skin is a natural host for many varieties of bacteria, however when that bacteria that can live without causing harm on the outside of the body enters the skin, it can cause infections that are uncomfortable and unattractive. Impetigo is a common skin infection, which produces raised red patches on the affected area. Infections can also develop in the hair follicles of the skin and develop into folliculitis, furunculosis, and carbunculosis. These conditions are characterized by raised red bumps that are painful and may leak a pus-like discharge. Fungal and yeast infections also develop in the skin, causing a red and inflamed appearance and itching and burning sensations. The physicians at Barrington Surgeons have significant experience in diagnosing and treating a wide variety of skin infections and lesions.
Soft tissue masses are soft growths, typically benign tumors, under the skin. They can develop anywhere in the body and present varying appearance and behavior. Some may develop quickly and become large, invading other nearby tissue. It is important for your surgeon to have experience in removing soft tissue masses because if the excision is incomplete, the chances of the tumor returning are high. Soft tissue mass is often used as an umbrella term for a variety of soft tissue tumors such as lipoma, angiolipoma, fibroma, myoxma, and more.
Lipomas are the most common form of soft tissue masses. Lipomas often grow just beneath the skin as a soft painless bulge, developing slowly over a period of months to years. There is little risk associated with lipomas and they are usually treated with marginal excision. This type of excision has a high rate of success. In many cases, lipomas do not need to be removed immediately and your surgeon at Barrington Surgeons may advise that the lipoma needs only to be observed. Occasionally lipomas may develop deep below the fascia or with the muscle group. When this happens, your surgeon will need to take special care to correctly diagnose the the growth as these deep lipomas share characteristics with some cancers.
Sebaceous cysts are noncancerous, small lumps or bumps that develop under the skin. Commonly found on the face, neck, and upper back and chest, these painless cysts develop slowly. While not harmful, a sebaceous cyst may become inflamed and cause an infection in the surrounding skin. Sebaceous cysts grow from hair follicles that become clogged with multiplying skin cells and keratin. Treatment for a sebaceous cyst is usually lancing and draining. In most cases, treatment is only performed on cysts on the face or in areas that become irritated regularly, for example on the shoulder or upper back where a bra strap would sit and rub on the cyst.
Melanoma is a form of skin cancer that begins in the melanocyte cells in the skin. They can develop anywhere on the skin, although this form of cancer is often found on the chest, back, and legs. Melanoma form when the cells in the melanin producing cells grow at an unnatural rate. Squamous cell carcinoma is a common form of cancer that develops in the outer layer of the skin. It is usually not life threatening but can become aggressive if left untreated. Basal cell carcinoma affects the new cells within the skin. Basal cell carcinoma usually has slow growth and often doesn't show up for many years.
The most common treatment for skin cancer is the removal of the abnormal cells. In some cases, removing surrounding skin may be necessary to ensure that any extension of abnormal cells is also removed. Topical medications and chemotherapies designed specifically for skin cancer are also prescribed and used depending on your specific circumstances.
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