Facial spots can be annoying and unattractive! Hence, many patients request for their removal, and they are surprised with the ease of the treatments. However, some facial growths are known to recur readily and one should be mindful of this before they proceed with any surgery.
Seborrheic keratosis is a common and harmless warty growth, usually brown in colour but can vary from skin colour to black. They are often multiple in numbers, varying in size from a few millimetres in diameter to larger than 10 millimetres. The main feature is the waxy, “pasted-on” or “stuck-on” appearance, most commonly found on the face and body.
They are non-cancerous and non-contagious. SK usually enlarges gradually over time, as well as becoming more numerous with advancing age and hence they are also commonly known as age spots. Sometimes, they are mistaken as viral warts or even as skin cancer e.g. melanoma. Seeking the help of a dermatologist in this instance is prudent.
Patients are surprised that electrosurgery is good enough to do the job, often with minimal to no scarring! Otherwise, we can remove them with CO2 laser or cryotherapy. Numbing cream is always used before treatment to make the treatment more comfortable and pain free for patients. A seborrheic keratosis may sometimes be difficult to distinguish from a skin cancer. In such a situation, Dr Wong will do a biopsy to determine the exact nature of the lesion.
When SK becomes itchy, irritated, or bleeds easily, it is prudent to remove them. However, most patients request for their removal because they are cosmetically unattractive.
Sebaceous hyperplasia is a common, benign overgrowth of the oil glands in adults of middle age or older. It consists of creamy pink or yellow-coloured spots with a central dimple, usually occurring on the forehead, cheeks and nose.
SH usually enlarges gradually over time, as well as becoming more numerous with advancing age. Sometimes, they are mistaken as scars when they appear in groups on the nose.
Syringomas are benign growths of the sweat glands seen usually around the eyes. They usually appear as fleshed-coloured spots and are more common in women.
They may be removed by minor surgery or laser surgery. In most patients, the result is acceptable and satisfactory! Sometimes small scars may result and there may be recurrence.
Xanthelasma occurs as raised yellow patches on or around the eyelids and they are actually cholesterol-laden deposits.
They may be removed by minor surgery or laser surgery. Several laser sessions may be necessary before the xanthelasma is completely cleared. They can regrow and the tendency of recurrence is quite high.
Milia are 1-2 mm white or yellow spots that appear commonly on the cheeks and eyelids. They can arise suddenly after some minor skin injury or without any reason. Not knowing what these lesions are, some unsuspecting patients have had their milia removed by laser! It can be removed easily without a laser in the Assurance Skin clinic and all would heal without any scar.
Pyogenic granuloma is a relatively common lesion that presents as a painless red or blue-black growth. It usually grows rapidly over a period of a few days to weeks to a final size of around 1cm. Although they are benign, they can cause discomfort and bleed spontaneously and profusely.
The cause of pyogenic granuloma may be associated with the following factors: trauma, infection and hormonal changes (e.g. during pregnancy). Once diagnosed, it can easily be removed with shave excision and electrosurgery. It can recur after treatment because the feeding blood vessels remain despite the electrosurgery. Hence, it may be necessary to repeat the treatment.
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Our specialist listens & explains well to his patients on their skin issues and their queries.
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