SKIN LESIONS, BENIGN
DESCRIPTIONBenign skin lesions are non-cancerous growths or areas of pigment or color change on the skin. The skin in any region of the body is involved.
Appropriate health care includes:
Self-care after diagnosis.
Physician's monitoring of general condition and medications.
Surgery to remove lesions that enlarge, bleed, change color, are slow to heal, or are unsightly.
Radiation treatment following removal of keloids to prevent their recurrence.
SIGNS & SYMPTOMSTags--Soft, flesh-colored buds, often on stalks, found on the neck, armpits, or groin.
Moles--Flat or raised lesions with clearly defined borders. Moles may be black, blue, red, yellow, or brown.
Cherry spots--Pinhead-sized, bright-red lesions on the chest or back.
Strawberry marks--Bright-red raised areas in infants that grow until they are removed.
Keloids--Thick, pale, irregular growths that begin at the site of a scar and gradually increase in size.
Dermatofibromas--Rounded nodules, usually brownish and usually on the legs.
Freckles--Flat, brownish spots of pinhead-size or larger.
Benign skin lesions fall into the following categories:
Unknown, but most children have a few benign skin lesions.
RISK FACTORSFamily history of benign skin lesions.
Pregnancy or use of oral contraceptives (brownish, frecklelike patches only).
PREVENTING COMPLICATIONS OR RECURRENCETo decrease freckles, your child should avoid excessive sun exposure. Other forms cannot be prevented.
Your own observation of symptoms.
Medical history and physical exam by a doctor.
Skin biopsy (See Glossary).
Malignant change in moles.
Bleeding in strawberry marks.
Treatment is usually unnecessary because most skin lesions are harmless. Suspicious or unsightly lesions can be removed surgically. If the affected area is large or in a prominent place, plastic surgery may be necessary for your child after removal of a skin lesion.
Examine your child's skin lesions regularly--especially those that are constantly rubbed or irritated by clothing--for signs of growth, color change, pain, infection, or bleeding.
If a lesion is removed, cover the area with a clean dressing and protect against injury. Ointments are rarely needed.
MEDICATIONMedicine usually is not necessary for this disorder. Makeup may be helpful in covering unsightly blemishes.
See Medications section for information regarding medicines your doctor may prescribe.
DIET & FLUIDS
No special diet.
OK TO GO TO SCHOOL?Yes.
CALL YOUR DOCTOR IF
Your child has a skin lesion that enlarges, bleeds, changes color, is painful, or doesn't heal.