Minor surgery offers a solution for removal of non threatening lesions such as skin tags, moles, warts, ingrown toenails, age spots, sebaceous cysts, fatty tumors, and other non malignant skin lesions.
As the weather cools off, and school and sports start, we all start wearing closed-toe shoes again. This usually results in a rise of ingrown toenails. The constant slamming of the foot against the edge of a shoe while playing football, basketball or soccer is a common cause, as can trauma will cause the nail to cut open the skin of the toe. Cutting the nails too short or simply genetics can also cause ingrown nails. Once the skin is interrupted an infection is sure to follow. Once an infection is present it must be treated or it will continue to get worse.
The treatment is an in office procedure that takes about thirty minutes. The entire nail does not need to be removed, just the offending edge. After surgical removal the infection clears very quickly, usually improving within the first 24 hours. If the problem is reoccurs the nail can be treated more permanently.
Age Spots or Seborrheic Keratosis
Our parents and grandparents call them age spots. They are brown or tan distinct discolorations of the skin, or more regularly called “spots”. Most people dislike them when they are on the face, chest or hands. because they tend to make us look older. although hey can occur anywhere on the body.
These brown spots can be flat and resemble a freckle in sun-exposed areas. Those that fit this description often are due to sun damage. Freckles are often considered cute on children. Past the age of twelve this is straight up sun damage.
Extremely common past the age of thirty-five , age spots are a lighter tan spot that starts out small and just slightly darker than the skin tone. Over time they will continue to grow. These spots are called Seborrheic Keratosis. They are non-cancerous or benign skin growths that are superficial and can be treated. Sometimes they have a crusty elevation and look as though you can pick them off. There is a genetic predisposition to getting them. If your parents have many of them, you too are probably destined to have them. A good rule to follow is treat them while they are small, because they will grow.
Actinic Keratosis is another common skin growth that occurs. These usually occur in sun-exposed areas and present as a small patch of what seems to be dry skin. It comes, then it goes, then it comes and does not go. There is no distinct growth, maybe a pink/red area with flaky dry skin. These are considered precancerous because 10-15% of these will progress into Squamous Cell Cancer in 10-15 years. Again, the rule is treat them early and while they are small.
Lentigos and freckles are caused from sun exposure. Melanocytes (cells containing melanin) are stimulated and cause a pigmented spot. These spots are always flat and darker than the surrounding skin.This is sun damage to the skin, and will only appear in sun-exposed areas.
Skin tags are often found along areas of irritation, neck, underarm, waistline, bra-line etc. They may be flesh colored or pigmented. They are often larger at the top and have a thinner ‘stalk’ attaching them to the body. Skin tags will not go away on their own although treatment is a simple in office procedure.
Treatments for all of the above skin conditions are available at East Valley Naturopathic Doctors, in Mesa AZ. There are many more non-cancerous lesions that are not described above ,that can be diagnosed and treated by a Physician within our office.