Warts are benign growths that can occur anywhere on the body. Rough to the touch, they are extremely common and are caused by the human papilloma virus or HPV. Warts generally regress of their own accord, although they are not in a hurry to disappear and can hang around the skin for a couple of months or longer.

Zapping a wart with a laser beam is often considered by patients when all other treatments have failed, or if the warts are large and widespread. An intense beam of light is focused on the wart to burn and destroy it, and the procedure is usually carried out in a doctor’s office or clinic under a local anesthetic.

This is a localized itchy, well defined eruption. The chronic nature of this condition can be troubling. The skin thickens in response to rubbing and scratching (lichenification). The cause is not known. Once the itch/scratch cycle is established it is very difficult to break this without treatment. Persistent rubbing causes the epidermis to thicken. There may be sensitization with allergic reactions in response to the topical creams, lotions and ointments used. Most often lichen simplex chronicus is seen around the ankles, shins and the back or side of the neck. The forearms may also be extensively involved.

The aim of treatment is to stop the itch/scratch cycle. Potent steroids are delivered using Dermojet- Needleless injection system that is painless.

These are benign growths that occur frequently in African skin due to photo aging. Dermatosis Papulosa Nigra (DPN), a cluster of small seborrheic keratosis, is prominently located on the face, neck and upper trunk of both African men and women. They are small, brown or black bumps that are sometimes mistaken for moles. It is felt that a combination of heredity, aging and exposure to the sun are factors in the development of DPNs.

Since DPNs are non-cancerous, they do not have to be treated. They do, however, increase in number and size as women/men mature and it is for these reasons that many want them treated. It can be treated with cryosurgery, electrodessication, curettage or laser treatment. Side effects of removal may include light or black skin discolourations which usually fade rapidly especially if the skin is pretreated with a skin lightening agent.

Skin tag is a small flap of tissue that hangs off the skin by a connecting stalk. Skin tags are not dangerous. They are usually found on the neck, chest, back, armpits, under the breasts, or in the groin area. Skin tags appear most often in women, especially with weight gain, and in elderly people.

Your physician can remove a skin tag by cutting it off with a scalpel or scissors, with cryosurgery (freezing it off), or with electrosurgery (burning it off with an electric current).

Moles are growths on the skin that are usually brown or black. Moles can appear anywhere on the skin, alone or in groups. Most moles appear in early childhood and during the first 30 years of a person’s life. It is normal to have between 10-40 moles by adulthood. As the years pass, moles usually change slowly, becoming raised and/or changing color. Often, hairs develop on the mole. Some moles may not change at all, while others may slowly disappear over time. A mole or freckle should be checked if it has a diameter of more than 7 mm or any characteristics of the ABCDEs of melanoma.

If a physician believes a mole needs to be evaluated further or removed entirely, he or she will either remove the entire mole, or first take just a small tissue sample of the mole to examine thin sections of the tissue under a microscope (a biopsy).

A keratoancanthoma occurs when cells in a hair follicle do not grow normally. The growth apparently is triggered by a minor skin injury in an area that previously had suffered sun damage. Ultraviolet radiation from sun exposure is the biggest risk factor in keratoacanthomas. A keratoacanthoma usually will appear on sun-damaged skin as a thick growth that has a central crusted plug. Keratoacanthomas are rapidly growing, red, dome-shaped bumps with central craters. Some keratoacanthomas can grow to extremely large sizes, occasionally 1 to 3 inches in diameter. Keratoacanthomas appear most often in people who are over the age of 60 and they are considered a low-grade skin cancer.

Keratoacanthomas can be removed by Cryotherapy (freezing the growth with liquid nitrogen), Curettage (scraping and burning off the growth), Surgical removal.

Seborrheic keratoses are brown or black growths usually found on the chest and back, as well as on the head. They originate from cells called keratinocytes. As they develop, seborrheic keratoses take on a warty appearance. They do not lead to skin cancer. They are seen more often as people get older.

Seborrheic keratoses are harmless and are not contagious. Therefore, they don’t need to be treated. If you decide to have seborrheic keratoses removed because you don’t like the way they look, or because they are chronically irritated by clothing, methods for removing them include cutting them off, cryosurgery, and electrosurgery.

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If you have questions about the Skin Surgical Procedures please contact one of our staff by calling V-Kare Family Dentistry & Cosmetics Clinic, Champlin, MN at 763-323-6564, or you can send us a message through our online Contact Us Form