What causes skin lesion? 35 possible conditions

Viewing 1 - 20 of 35 results

What Are Skin Lesions?

A skin lesion is a part of the skin that has an abnormal growth or appearance compared to the skin around it.

Types of Skin Lesions

Two types of skin lesions exist: primary and secondary. Primary skin lesions are abnormal skin conditions present at birth or acquired over one’s lifetime. Birthmarks are primary skin lesions. Other types include:

  • blisters: also called vesicles; these are small lesions filled with a clear fluid. Vesicles can be the result of sunburns, steam burns, insect bites, friction from shoes or clothes, and viral infections.
  • macule: freckles and flat moles. Macules are small spots that are typically brown, red, or white. They are usually about one centimeter in diameter.
  • nodule: a solid, raised skin lesion. Most nodules are more than two centimeters in diameter.
  • papule: a lesion that is rough in texture. Most papules develop with many other papules. A patch of papules is called a plaque. Plaques are common in people with psoriasis.
  • pustule: small lesions filled with pus. They are typically the result of acne, boils, or impetigo.
  • rash: lesions that cover small or large areas of skin. They can be caused by an allergic reaction. A common allergic reaction rash occurs when someone touches poison ivy.
  • wheals: skin lesions caused by an allergic reaction. Hives are an example of wheals.

Secondary skin lesions are the result of irritated or manipulated primary skin lesions. For example, if someone scratches a mole until it bleeds, the resulting lesion, a crust, is now a secondary skin lesion.

The most common secondary skin lesions include:

  • crust: a crust, or a scab, is created when dried blood forms over a scratched and irritated skin lesion.
  • ulcer: typically caused by a bacterial infection or physical trauma.
  • scale: patches of skin cells that build up and then fall off the skin.
  • scar: some scratches, cuts, and scrapes will leave scars that are not replaced with healthy, normal skin. Instead, the skin returns as a thick, raised scar. This scar is called a keloid.
  • skin atrophy: areas of your skin that become thin and wrinkled from over use of topical steroids or antibiotic creams. 

What Causes Skin Lesions?

The most common cause of a skin lesion is an infection on or in the skin. One example is a wart. Warts are caused by a virus that is transmitted by touch. A systemic infection (an infection that occurs throughout your body), such as chicken pox or shingles can cause skin lesions all over your body. Some skin lesions are hereditary, such as moles and freckles. Birthmarks are lesions that exist at the time of birth. Still others can be the result of an allergic reaction or sensitivity caused by conditions like poor circulation or diabetes.

Who Is At Risk for Skin Lesions?

Some skin lesions are hereditary. People with family members who have moles or freckles are more likely to develop those two lesions. People with allergies may also be more likely to develop skin lesions related to their allergy. People diagnosed with an auto-immune disease such as psoriasis will continue to be at risk for skin lesions throughout  their lives.

Diagnosing Skin Lesions

In order to diagnose a skin lesion, a dermatologist or doctor will want to conduct a full physical exam. This will include observing the skin lesion and asking for a full account of all symptoms. To confirm a diagnosis, they make take skin samples, perform a biopsy of the affected area, or take a swab from the lesion to send to a lab.

Treating Skin Lesions

Treatment is based on the underlying cause or causes for skin lesions. A doctor will take into account the type of lesion, personal health history, and any unsuccessful treatments previously attempted.

Medications

First-line treatments are often topical medications to help clean, disinfect, and protect the affected area. Topical medication can also provide mild symptom relief to stop pain, itching, or burning caused by the skin lesion. When skin lesions are the result of a systemic infection, such as shingles or chicken pox, patients may be prescribed oral medications to help ease the symptoms of the disease, including skin lesions. 

Surgeries

Skin lesions that are infected or extremely painful can be lanced and drained to provide relief. Moles that have become cancerous may need to be removed surgically. A type of birthmark called vascular birthmarks result from malformed blood vessels. Surgery can remove this type of birthmark, too. 

Home Care

Some skin lesions are very itchy and uncomfortable and patients may use home remedies. Some oatmeal baths or lotions can provide relief from itching or burning caused by certain skin lesions. If chaffing is causing contact dermatitis in places where the skin rubs against itself or a piece of clothing, absorbent powders or baby powder can reduce moisture and prevent additional skin lesions from developing.

Article Sources:

Read More

See a list of possible causes in order from the most common to the least.

1

Seborrheic Keratosis

Seborrheic keratosis is a type of harmless skin growth that bears a resemblance to skin cancer. Growths may have a wart-like surface and waxy appearance.

Read more »

2

Allergic Eczema

When your body comes in contact with something that could make you ill, your immune system promotes chemical changes to help your body ward off disease. You are exposed to thousands of substances each day, and most wil...

Read more »

3

Lichen Planus

Lichen planus is a fairly common skin rash that is thought to be triggered by the immune system. It causes lesions in the mouth that may be painful or burn.

Read more »

4

Candida Fungus Skin Infection

Candida is a type of fungus that can cause an infection in your skin. In normal conditions, your skin may host small amounts of this fungus, but problems arise when it begins to multiply and creates an overgrowth...

Read more »

5

Erysipelas

Erysipelas is a bacterial infection in the upper layer of your skin. A raised rash or blisters occur most commonly on the legs and face, and may be accompanied by fever and chills.

Read more »

6

Carbuncle

A carbuncle is an infection of the skin that may be filled with pus. The infection usually occurs deep within your skin and involves your hair follicles. It is also called a staph skin infection. Carbunculosis is th...

Read more »

7

Contact Dermatitis

Contact dermatitis is a condition that makes skin red or inflamed after contact with a particular substance. Contact dermatitis is either the result of an allergen or an irritant. Allergic dermatitis usually appear...

Read more »

8

Acne

Your skin has tiny holes called pores that that can become blocked by oil, bacteria, and dirt. When this occurs, you may develop a pimple or "zit." If your skin is repeatedly affected by this condition, you may hav...

Read more »

9

Stasis Dermatitis And Ulcers

Stasis dermatitis is skin inflammation caused by blood pooling in the veins in the legs. Pooling causes pressure inside the veins to rise. This elevated pressure causes damage to the capillaries, resulting in cell death.

Read more »

10

Eczema

Eczema is a common skin condition caused by an overactive immune system. It is marked by itchy and inflamed patches of skin.

Read more »

11

Leprosy

Leprosy is a chronic, progressive bacterial infection. It primarily affects the nerves of the extremities, the lining of the nose, and the upper respiratory tract. It is caused by the bacteria Mycobacteriu...

Read more »

12

What is Skin Cancer?

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer people get in the United States. Read an overview about the causes and types of skin cancer.

Read more »

13

Ringworm of the Body (Tinea Corporis)

Ringworm of the body is a skin infection caused by a fungus. "Ringworm" is a misnomer-the infection has nothing to do with worms. Its name comes from the small, ring- or circle-shaped rash that appears on the body du...

Read more »

14

Actinic Keratosis

If you've spent a lot of time outside under the sun, you'll probably start to notice brown spots appearing on your hands and arms as you get older. Sometimes called sun spots or age spots, the correct term for thi...

Read more »

15

Chickenpox

Also known as varicella, chickenpox is a virus that often affects children. It is characterized by itchy red blisters that appear all over the body. Chickenpox was once so common it was considered a childhood rite o...

Read more »

16

Keloid Scar of Skin

When skin is injured, fibrous tissue (called scar tissue) forms over the wound to repair and protect the injury. In some cases, scar tissue grows excessively, forming smooth, hard growths called keloids. Keloids can b...

Read more »

17

Acrodermatitis and Your Child

Acrodermatitis is a skin condition that typically affects children between the ages of 6 months and 12 years. The full name of the disease is papular acrodermatitis of childhood. It is also called Gianotti-Crost...

Read more »

18

Ichthyosis Vulgaris

Ichthyosis vulgaris is a skin condition that causes dry, dead skin cells to accumulate in patches on the surface of your skin. It's also known as "fish scale disease" because the dead skin accumulates in a simila...

Read more »

19

Necrotizing Vasculitis

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

Necrotizing vasculitis is the inflammation of blood vessel walls, typically small and medium-sized vessels. This inflammation can interrupt normal blood flow, resulting in damage to skin and muscle including necrosis ...

Read more »

20

Impetigo

Impetigo is a highly contagious skin condition. It usually occurs on the face, neck, and hands of young children and infants. Children who wear diapers also tend to get it around the diaper area. Impetigo occurs mor...

Read more »

This feature is for informational purposes only and should not be used to diagnose.
Please consult a healthcare professional if you have health concerns.
  • Page 1 of 2
Advertisement
Are you experiencing other symptoms?

I'm experiencing:

Choose from list of symptoms:

Advertisement