Minor skin problems are quite common and usually don’t require surgery to fix. However, in some cases, surgery may be the best option. One reason is that the skin problem might need surgery if it is causing you pain or discomfort.
Read on for more information.
What Are Minor Skin Issues?
As the name suggests, minor skin issues are usually small problems that don’t require major medical treatment. Some common minor skin issues include:
- Dry skin
- Seborrheic keratosis
- Skin tags
- Pyogenic granuloma
Common Signs and Symptoms of Minor Skin Diseases
Most minor skin diseases are benign, which means they are not cancerous. However, some can be cosmetically displeasing. The following are some common signs and symptoms of minor skin diseases:
- Dry, flaky skin
- Red, inflamed skin
- Growths on the skin
- Changes in skin color
- Changes in skin texture
When Is Surgery an Option for Minor Skin Problems?
In general, surgery is only considered for minor skin problems if the issue is causing you pain, discomfort, or distress. For example, you might consider seborrheic keratosis surgery when the growths are numerous or large and they are causing you embarrassment.
In contrast, moles may not require surgery unless they are cancerous or at risk of becoming cancerous. Your doctor will likely want to keep an eye on any moles that change in size, shape, or color.
Other reasons you might opt for surgery include when:
- The skin problem is not responding to other treatments
- The skin problem is growing rapidly
- High risk of developing skin cancer
Types of Surgery for Minor Skin Problems
Numerous surgery types can be used to treat minor skin problems, including:
Excision is the removal of the entire growth or lesion. This type of surgery is typically used for moles, warts, and seborrheic keratosis. Your surgeon will numb the area and then cut out the growth.
Shave excision is similar to regular excision, but only part of the growth is removed. This leaves a smaller scar. Shave excision is often used for skin tags, seborrheic keratosis, and warts because these growths are often raised above the skin’s surface.
For instance, pyogenic granuloma removal often requires to shave excision because this growth is raised and often bleeds. A laser can also be an option, but it may not be the best treatment because it can cause scarring or doesn’t totally eliminate the problem.
Curettage and electrodesiccation
Curettage and electrodesiccation are two-step processes used to remove superficial skin cancers, such as basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. First, the growth is scraped away with a curette (a sharp, spoon-shaped instrument). Then, an electric current is passed through the area to stop any bleeding and kill any remaining cancer cells.
This type of surgery uses a concentrated beam of light to remove the growth. This type of surgery is often used for warts, seborrheic keratosis, and moles. It can also be utilized to treat more aggressive skin cancers, such as basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.
Cryosurgery involves freezing the growth or lesion with liquid nitrogen. This type of surgery is usually used for warts, seborrheic keratosis, and moles.
Preparation for Minor Skin Surgery
Before having minor skin surgery, you will likely have a consultation with your doctor. During this appointment, your physician will examine the growth or lesion and ask about your medical history.
They may also require a biopsy – a procedure to remove a small tissue sample for laboratory testing. This can help your doctor confirm the diagnosis and rule out other conditions.
After Your Surgery
Some swelling, bruising, and soreness after your surgery are normal. But these side effects should improve within a few days. Your doctor will give you instructions on caring for the area after surgery.
This may include keeping the area clean and dry and applying ointment to the wound. You should also avoid strenuous activity and exposure to the sun until the area heals.
In general, most people heal quickly after minor skin surgery with no complications. However, it comes with some risks, such as infection and scarring, as with any surgery. Ensure to talk to your doctor about all of the potential risks and benefits before having any type of skin surgery.
Is Surgery the Best Treatment for Minor Skin Problems?
Surgery is often an effective treatment for minor skin problems. However, it’s not always the best option. Ask your doctor about all treatment options you may have and the risks and benefits of each before making a decision.