cosmetic removal of moles, skin tags, warts, seborrheic keratosis and other growths

Mole Removal | Skin Tag Removal Portland ORSkin growths are very common dermatologic issues. They encompass many different types of lesions, but the majority of skin growths are benign and some may not even require treatment. Below are some of the most frequently seen forms of skin growths.

Moles

Moles are benign pigmented spots or patches of skin that range in color between tan, brown and black. Though most moles are harmless, they may develop into cancer. Moles exhibiting any of the following warning signs should be examined by a professional immediately:

  • Larger than six millimeters
  • Itches or bleeds
  • Rapidly changes in color, size or shape
  • Has multiple colors
  • Is located where it can't be easily monitored, such as on the scalp

Depending on their depth, location and color, as well as the patient's skin type, age and other factors, treatment for benign but unattractive moles may take the form of laser or pulsed light therapy, microdermabrasion or surgical excision.

Skin Tags

Skin tags are little pieces of skin that protrude from its surface. Usually found on the neck, underarms, under the breasts and in folds of skin in the groin or belly, these common growths are often the result of clothing rubbing against the skin. Most skin tags are acquired, although some people are born with them. Skin tags typically occur in people over the age of 40 and those who are overweight or have diabetes. They are also more common in women than men.

While skin tags are not cancerous and don't cause problems unless they are continuously irritated, many people nevertheless choose to have these painless growths removed for precautionary or cosmetic purposes. Patients are often bothered by them due to itching and sometimes even bleeding, since they can get caught in zippers, clothes or jewelry. There are several ways to effectively remove skin tags, including freezing, burning and cutting them off.

Warts

Warts are skin growths caused by viruses. Different warts respond to different treatments; some go away on their own. Salicylic acid products (in the form of drops, gels, pads and bandages) can help self-treatment of many warts by dissolving the keratin protein that makes up the wart and the dead skin above it. Others can be removed via liquid nitrogen freezing or electrical stimulation. Surgery may be recommended for painful or large warts that do not respond to these treatments.

Seborrheic Keratosis

Seborrheic keratosis is a noncancerous skin growth that commonly affects the elderly. Its exact causes are unknown, although it tends to be hereditary. Seborrheic keratosis is a painless condition that requires no treatment; many individuals, however, choose to have the growth(s) removed for cosmetic purposes.

A seborrheic keratosis typically appears on the head, neck or trunk. It is usually round or oval shaped, and it may vary in color. In some cases, seborrheic keratosis may itch. Medical attention may be necessary if numerous seborrheic keratoses develop in a short period of time, the lesions interfere with clothing or other abnormal skin changes occur.

Seborrheic keratosis is diagnosed by inspecting the affected area. A biopsy may be taken to rule out skin cancer. Seborrheic keratoses require no treatment. If removal is desired for cosmetic purposes, it may be achieved through cryosurgery, curettage or electrocautery.

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