Excision of Benign & Malignant Skin Growths
Benign skin lesions are skin growths which, although sometimes irritating or unsightly, are not dangerous. Many benign lesions do not require treatment except for cosmetic reasons. Some, however, may itch, burn, sting, or be otherwise uncomfortable if left untreated.
Malignant skin lesions are abnormal growths of skin cells that can form anywhere on the body, but most frequently appear on skin that is exposed to the sun. There are more than a million new cases of skin cancer in the US each year.
There are three major types of skin cancer, each of which is derived from a different skin cell. These major types are:
Squamous cell carcinoma is derived from the keratinocyte, which is main cell population in the skin epidermis.
Basal cell carcinoma is derived from the basal keratinocyte, which resides at the bottom of the epidermis and produces new skin cells.
Melanoma is derived from the melanocyte, which resides in the epidermis and produces the skin's pigment.
Curettage and Electrodesiccation
Curettage and electrodesiccation is a skin cancer treatment that involves scraping the abnormal cells with a curette and then cauterizing the area with an electric current. This process may be repeated up to three times to ensure complete removal.
Cryotherapy is a treatment that uses liquid nitrogen gas to destroy actinic keratoses, which are precancerous growths. During the cryosurgery procedure, your doctor will apply nitrogen or argon gas directly on the skin. The diseased cells cannot survive extremely cold conditions and will be destroyed. Cryosurgery has a shorter treatment and recovery time than surgical procedures while providing highly effective results. Pigment loss and swelling may occur in the treated area after this type of surgery, but most patients are able to achieve successful results with cryotherapy.