Surgical Dermatology

A cyst is a closed sac-like that can occur basically anywhere on the body and in people of any age. They usually contain a gaseous, liquid or semi-solid substance and vary in size from microscopic to extremely large.

The majority of cysts are benign, but some may produce symptoms due to their size and their location. Occasionally cysts can be associated with malignant tumors or serious infections. Treatments for cysts vary depending on the cause and location. Cysts can be drained, or aspirated or if needed surgically removed.

Moles are common skin lesions. They are due to a rapid growth or multiplying of the pigment of the cells. Most are benign or harmless in nature but some may be cancerous.

Moles may be flat or protruding. They vary in color from pink or flesh tone to brown, dark brown, or black. Most are round or oval shaped but some can be unusually shaped and they can range in size from a few millimeters to several centimeters in diameter.

Genetic factors and sun exposure determine the number of moles a person may have. People with a greater number of moles have a higher risk of developing melanoma than those with only a few moles.

Most moles are harmless and can be left alone. However, some may need treatment for the following reasons:

* Possible malignancy — a mole that has bled, has unusual shape or is growing rapidly or changing color.
* Nuisance Moles — moles that are irritated by clothing, combs or brushes, or razors.
* Cosmetic reasons — moles that are unsightly.

It is wise to take a change in a mole serious. If you have mole that has changed in appearance, shape, color or size, it is important to have the mole checked out. Because it is not always possible to tell whether a mole is melanoma, it may be necessary to totally remove the mole for a pathological examination.

A skin biopsy is a procedure in which a sample of abnormal looking skin tissue is removed and examined under a microscope. Skin biopsies are done to diagnose a:

* Skin condition (such as psoriasis)
* Disease (such as skin cancer)
* Bacterial or fungal skin infections

Skin biopsies are most often done to diagnose skin cancer, which may be suspected when an abnormal area of skin has changed in color, shape or size. Skin cancers are the most common type of cancers.