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Have you noticed any deviation from the normal structure of your skin? Do they appear like abnormal lumps, sore or bumps? It could be skin lesions.

The good news is skin lesions are harmless and can be treated with simple home remedies and topical medications.

This article talks about what may be the cause of your skin lesion and the various ways you can treat them.

What Are Skin Lesions?

A skin lesion is a change in the normal condition of your skin. You may notice a sudden abnormal growth of your skin or lump covering a large or tiny area of your body. It can be a single skin lump or combination of multiple lumps. Skin lesions lead to swelling, painful blisters, pus-filled sacs and bumps. Your skin may also feel hard and discoloured.

Even though most skin lesions are generally harmless, few might turn out to be cancerous. Skin cancers that include melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma often begin with changing the appearance or structure of your skin. They might be new growths or precancerous lesions in your skin. So, they are not necessarily cancerous, but eventually they can turn out to be a cancer.

Symptoms of Skin Lesions

  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Headache
  • Itchy feeling on any particular part of the body
  • Raised bumps
  • Joint pain
  • Dry/cracked skin
  • Nausea
  • Redness of skin
  • Swelling of skin
  • Pus filled sores
  • Sweating
  • Fever and chills

Types of Skin Lesions

1. Primary Skin Lesions

Primary skin lesions are an abnormal skin condition that you might have since birth or develop over your lifetime. Birthmarks are considered to be the most common primary skin lesions. Other primary skin lesions are moles, rashes, acne, small blisters (vesicles) etc.

  • Small blisters or large blisters are fluid-filled skin lesions caused by sunburn, insect bite, any viral infection, and even friction caused by a tight shoe.
  • Macules are another skin lesion that appears like small spots and brown. Freckles and flat moles are types of macules.
  • A nodule is simply the solid skin formation on your skin’s surface.
  • Other types of primary skin lesions are pustules (pus-filled bumps), rashes etc.

2. Skin Lesions

Secondary skin lesions evolve from primary skin lesions. It develops when you irritate your primary skin lesions by scratching. It may cause bleeding and crusting. Some of the common examples of secondary skin lesions are ulcers, erosions, scars, fissure, and crust.

  • Secondary skin lesion crust happens when you scratch an already irritated skin.
  • Ulcers are one type of skin lesions that occur due to bacterial infection.
  • Few patches of skin cells are known as scales. It peels off your skins and causes irritation.
  • If any cut or wound is not healed or covered with fresh skin, it may turn into a thick raised scar.

What Are The Conditions That Causes Skin Lesions?

1. Acne

  • Acne is a common skin condition that causes pimples, whiteheads, blackheads or even cysts.
  • Acne can be both harmless and scarring.
  • Acne develops when your skin pores are clogged with dead skin cells and sebum. It is a common condition causing skin lesions.
  • Acne mostly occurs on your face, neck, upper back and chest.

2. Allergic Eczema

  • Allergic eczema is a common skin condition that makes your skin itchy and red. It develops when your skin comes in direct contact with an allergen.
  • Allergic eczema is mostly found in hands and forearms. [1]
  • You may also notice blisters and scaly patches on your skin.

3. Cold Sores

  • Cold sores are painful red blisters that happen only on and around your mouth. They are caused by herpes simplex viruses.
  • Resembles a burning sensation on the affected area of your skin.
  • Low fever, body ache can occur along with cold sores. [2]
  • Cold sores usually go away within a few weeks.

4. Blisters

  • Blisters are fluid-filled bubbles under your skin. They can result from friction, burn, infection or allergies
  • Small blisters (vesicles) and blisters larger than half an inch (bullae) are fluid-filled skin lesions.
  • Blisters can be found anywhere on your body.
  • Popping the blisters can spread the infection even more.

5. Hives

  • Hives are caused by allergic reactions
  • It is characterized by red and itchy rashes and can cause pain, if touched.
  • It can be small, round or ring-shaped. [3]
  • Generally, it heals on its own.

6. Impetigo

  • Impetigo is an infection caused by Staphylococcus or Streptococcus bacteria. [4]
  • It forms sores around the affected skin - mostly around the mouth, forearms, and hands.
  • These types of skin lesions are filled with pus and later turn into pimples.
  • It is a contagious skin condition, mostly found in babies and young children.

7. Cellulitis

  • Cellulitis occurs when a bacteria or fungi enters your skin through a cut or wound.
  • It causes redness and swelling. [5]
  • Your skin becomes tender and warm.
  • Symptoms include fever and chill, in case of serious infection.

8. Moles

  • Moles are a common type of skin growth that appears as a circular lump. [6]
  • There are three types of moles such as congenital, common mole and atypical. If you are born with a mole of any size, it is a congenital mole.
  • When an adult gets harmless growth typically on the areas of the body which are mostly exposed to sun, those moles are considered to be common moles.
  • Moles caused by cancer melanoma are atypical moles.
  • Some skin lesions such as moles are hereditary.

9. Actinic Keratosis

  • Actinic keratosis usually happens on the skin which gets maximum sun exposure.
  • It can appear as a natural-looking brown, red or pink coloured crusty bump. [7]
  • There is a high risk of cancer associated with the skin lesion actinic keratosis.
  • You may require surgery or light therapy to treat it.

10. Psoriasis

  • Psoriasis is a common chronic inflammatory skin disease, typically characterised by raised itchy skin plaques.
  • Psoriasis mostly appears on knees, scalp and elbows, but it can also affect your nails and legs. [8]
  • The life cycle of your skin cells speeds up in psoriasis. This builds up dead cells on the surface of your epidermis, causing red, inflamed and flaky patches of skin

11. Ringworm

  • Ringworm is a circular rash that is caused by a skin infection.
  • These rashes are typically itchy and cause scaly skin. [9]
  • It can occur anywhere in your body and cause discomfort.

12. Chickenpox

  • Chickenpox is characterized by small red, itchy fluid-filled blisters.
  • It causes body ache, fever, and sore throat.
  • It is contagious until all your blisters are healed.

13. Sebaceous Cyst

  • Sebaceous cysts can occur on your face, torso and neck.
  • These are mostly noncancerous and grow slowly. [10]
  • If you have a large cyst, it may cause pain and discomfort.

How To Diagnose Skin Lesions?

A dermatologist will -

  • Analyse the symptoms of skin lesions thoroughly.
  • Conduct a physical examination of your skin texture, pigmentation, surface area, etc.
  • Perform a biopsy or swab test on your skin sample before sending it for further laboratory tests.

Who Is At Risk For Skin Lesions?

  • You may develop skin lesions such as moles or freckles due to genetic factors.
  • If you have a history of skin issues like allergies, psoriasis, lupus, or eczema, you are more likely to develop skin lesions.
  • Few environmental factors such as overexposure to the sun, especially harmful UV rays, can increase your risk to develop skin lesions.
  • People who have autoimmune disease can also develop skin lesions.

What Are The Complications of Skin Lesions?

Skin lesions can develop due to some serious diseases. If you fail to treat skin lesions rightly, it can lead to serious complications and sometimes even permanent damage.

Consult a dermatologist to seek proper medical advice and reduce complications like:

  • Side effects of treatment
  • Change in your skin pigmentation
  • Increased symptoms
  • Meningitis
  • Organ failure
  • Scarring
  • Cancer
  • Spreading infection

How To Treat Skin Lesions?

1. Medications

One of the most common treatments for skin lesions is topical medications such as ointments and creams that reduce inflammation and soothe the affected area. Topical creams or gel works great to manage the symptoms of itchiness, burning, redness and pain. In case you are suffering from a systemic infection such as chickenpox, doctors may prescribe you oral medicines.

2. Surgeries

Normally, common skin lesions heal on their own or by medication. But few changing skin growth such as moles may require surgery. Surgery gives you a permanent solution to these kinds of skin lesions. Doctors, sometimes, suggest laser surgery to remove birthmarks.

3. Home Remedies

Few types of skin lesions don't need medical attention. You can try simple home remedies to get relief from the symptoms. You can try an oatmeal bath to get relief from itchiness or swelling caused by certain skin lesions.

You can use absorbent powder to protect your skin from getting damaged by rubbing against clothing.

When Should I See A Doctor For A Skin Lesion?

1. Atypical moles are cancerous. If you notice changes in your existing moles, consult a dermatologist.

2. In case you develop a ringworm infection on your scalp, seek medical advice and get an antifungal treatment done.

3. Seek medical help immediately if any of your skin conditions - eczema or psoriasis continue, even after using over-the-counter products.

4. If you have symptoms of Impetigo, immediately visit your dermatologist as there is no over the counter product for this particular skin condition.

Wrapping Up

You can prevent most of the skin lesions by maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Remember to keep your skin clean, hydrated and moisturized to prevent any type of such skin condition. Skin lesions may result from common causes such as cut or bruise from an injury, acne, freckles, and moles. In case you notice some serious causes or symptoms, consult a dermatologist immediately to get prompt medical care.

Begin By Knowing Your Skin

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