What are those little things on my skin and how do I get rid of them?

Common benign skin lesions and the simple, effective way to clearer, more beautiful skin

Milia —Milia are tiny cysts occurring very superficially in the skin. They are common on the face and eyelids. People make the mistake of trying to squeeze them out which may lead to red irritated skin or worse yet, an infection. There are best removed by your doctor or a trained aesthetician as the hard “seed pearl” must be removed after carefully and antiseptically unroofing the overlying skin with a needle or instrument.

Skin tags (acrochordon) — Skin tags are little flaps of skin like tiny polyps. They are also benign and may be flesh colored, pink, brown or black. They commonly occur on areas of the body where there is chafing such as the axilla, under the breasts or around the neck area. The physician removes them easily by snipping or cutting them off flush with the skin after carefully cleaning the skin to prevent infection.

Sebaceous hyperplasia — these are whitish slightly raised plaques that are overgrown oil glands. They are removed by excising or using radiofrequency.

Seborrheic Keratosis – These lesions are black, brown, or pink scaly, waxy lesions that grow from the superficial skin. They can get quite large and can look suspicious. They are common with aging and more prominent in some families. They are removed by a physician by a shave excision and heal in a weak or two, often with no scar or only a very minimal lightening.

Cherry hemangioma – Round tiny red dots are vascular lesions, often increasing with age. They can be treated by excision or laser therapy.

Intradermal nevus – benign, slow growing moles that are flesh colored, tan, brown or black. They can be shave excised or excised with stitches. A shave excision usually produces a superior cosmetic result, but the lesion may recur.

Sebaceous cyst – a sebaceous cyst, or epidermal inclusion cyst, or wen is a subcutaneous nodule that can develop from a previous skin injury, bug bite, or blocked gland. It is caused by a buildup of skin cells producing an encapsulated ball of white cheesy material. They may become infected. Excision requires complete removal of the capsule of the cyst to prevent recurrence.

Many skin lesions can be confused with lesions that are more serious. Skin cancers can look rather unremarkable. See a plastic surgeon or dermatologist or your primary care doctor if any skin lesion is new, changing in size , color, itching or bleeding.

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