Skin lesions can be divided into two groups:
- benign (non-cancerous): e.g. moles, cysts, warts, tags. These may be removed to prevent spreading (warts), stop discomfort if the lesion is being irritated by clothing/jewellery or to improve appearance.
- malignant (cancerous): basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas are generally slow growing and unlikely to spread to other parts of the body. Melanoma is a serious skin cancer that can spread to other parts of the body. Urgent removal is recommended.
Surgery to remove skin lesions usually involves an office or outpatient visit, local anaesthesia (the area around the scar is numbed by injecting a local anaesthetic) and stitches. Stitches may be removed in 1-2 weeks.