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CHRONICLES ON HEALTH

Skin Growths

"Diagnosis and treatment"
By: Stef dela Cruz, MDSkin Growths

You spot something on your forehead. It’s weird, it’s new, and it’s nothing like you’ve seen before. You can’t tell exactly what it is, except for one thing: it’s a skin growth.

What are skin growths? Skin growths are skin lesions. Some skin growths are not worth mentioning because they occur more often than others. Other skin growths, although not too common, may be malignant.

Before you rush to the nearest emergency room to report that puzzling skin growth, take solace in the knowledge that most skin lesions are benign in nature and do not require an ER visit (schedule a clinic consultation, instead). The diagnosis relies on careful physical examination and history taking, sometimes aided by microscopic examination of skin biopsy.

Diagnosing a skin growth early on is important as it helps catch the rare malignancy. As is the case in most types of cancer, early diagnosis leads to better treatment outcomes.

The management of skin growths depends on the diagnosis. For instance, many cases of acne are treated with a combination of any of the following: tretinoin, adapalene, benzoyl peroxide, and clindamycin. Keloids are treated with corticosteroid injections. Skin tags can be left alone unless one wants them removed.

Skin cancer is treated also according to the type of malignancy. The management of skin cancer depends on the stage and grade of the malignancy and is best tailored individually.

Refrain from manipulating or cutting off unknown skin growths as this may lead to bleeding or unsightly scarring. If you see any new growth on your skin, ask your doctor about it. Chances are, it’s a benign lesion. But cliché as it may sound, it’s always better to err on the side of caution.



Read more:
Seeing New Skin Growths
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