Moles or nevi are flat or elevated skin growths that have a collection of pigment or melanin causing them to be a variety of colors such as pink, red, tan, brown, or black. Most moles are benign or non-cancerous and are either present at birth or develop over time most commonly in sun-exposed areas. It is important to examine moles carefully for changes that could signify potential skin cancer such as asymmetry, irregular borders, dark/black color, multicolored or changing colors and large size. If any of these occur, prompt evaluation from a health care provider is recommended.
Skin tags are small, usually harmless skin growths that are very common. They typically occur around midlife, are painless and are likely to occur in skin folds such as around the neck, underarms and groin area. Most skin tags are small (although a few can get fairly large), are skin-colored and can occasionally bleed when irritated.
Growths called Keratoses are also common in midlife and can be classified as seborrheic or actinic. Seborrheic keratoses are noncancerous (benign) wart-like growths on the surface of the skin that can feel velvety, vary in color from yellow, light brown, dark brown or even black, grow and become irritated or itchy. They are typically located on the face, chest, shoulders, and back. Actinic keratoses are small, rough, raised areas found on skin that has been exposed to the sun over a long period of time. Over many years, some actinic keratoses may develop into a type of skin cancer. Risk factors include having fair skin, long-term daily sun exposure, multiple and severe sunburns early in life and older age. Actinic keratoses are usually found on the face, scalp, back of the hands, chest, or other sun-exposed areas. They may be gray, pink, red, or the same color as the skin. Often, they have a white or yellow “sand-papery” scale on top and some lesions may be easier to feel than see.
Many of these skin growths can be unsightly and annoying, prompting people to desire removal and blemish treatment. In the past, treatments usually consisted of “freezing” the lesion with liquid nitrogen, shaving it off with a sharp blade or removing it as a biopsy which requires stitches – all typically resulting in a higher chance of scarring. Our advanced laser technology provides a safer way to remove these skin growths, quickly, with minimal pain, downtime and scarring for most patients.