10 Feb What’s this Weird Thing on My Skin?
Your skin is the largest organ you have, and it sustains a lot of damage day after day—it could use a little TLC. At Refined MD, we specialize in treating every possible weird, strange “skin thing” in San Jose and want to encourage everyone to make 2020 the year they commit to annual skin exams. However, in between those yearly medical skin checks, it’s common to have an odd skin issue pop up. The only way to know for certain what it is (and that it’s not dangerous!) is to schedule a quick appointment with your dermatologist. However, in between scheduling that appointment and walking into our office, here are a few common skin oddities to learn more about.
Skin tags aren’t generally considered very cute, but they’re also not dangerous. Skin tags are flaps or “tags” of extra skin that seem to randomly appear, usually on the neck, chest, arms, and groin. They can often be found in places that sustain a lot of friction, and getting them caught on clothing can be painful. A lot of people choose to have them removed, either for esthetic purposes or because they keep getting caught on shirts and jewelry. The removal is fast and pain-free.
Warts can be stubborn, but they are highly treatable at your dermatology office. These unattractive skin issues are caused by a virus and usually appear on the feet, hands, or genitals. They might be a variety of colors, shapes, and textures—which means they can be easy to confuse with a raised mole. They’re not dangerous, but they’re highly contagious, so most people want them removed immediately. Depending on the type of wart, size, and placement, your dermatologist may remove it with a laser, by freezing it, or by patches.
If you have a “red mole” or freckle somewhere on your body, it’s probably a cherry angioma. These bright red marks happen more often as we age, and most of the time they’re perfectly healthy. It’s rare for skin cancer to present as red in color, though it can happen so always see your dermatologist if you notice any changes in your skin. However, if it’s a typical and harmless cherry angioma, you can either leave it or have it removed for esthetic purposes.
This skin condition can look a little strange and scary, but it’s completely harmless. These lesions can be confused with a wart and look scaly, which means a lot of people choose to have them removed for esthetic reasons. Seborrheic keratoses are most often found on the torso, and can be small or several inches in size.
Actinic keratosis looks like a scaly patch and is caused by UV exposure. It’s rare for this imperfection to become cancerous, but it does happen sometimes, so it’s critical that you and a dermatologist keep an eye on them. They usually start to appear as pink, red, or brown, and sometimes they’ll itch. Of course, preventing them is the best thing you can do, and that includes wearing sunscreen regularly.
Lipomas have tricked a lot of people because they present as a lump under the skin. Everyone’s first thought is “I have a tumor!” but in reality lipomas are totally safe and non-cancerous. However, only a dermatologist can diagnose a lipoma or skin cancer, so it’s critical that if you feel a lump that you immediately schedule a dermatology appointment. Unlike a tumor, lipomas tend to be very malleable under the skin.
Your body, and your skin, is amazing. However, it’s also doing daily battle against opponents ranging from the sun to pollutants, bacteria, and viruses. Taking care of your skin means establishing a relationship with a qualified dermatologist who’s committed to keeping you and your skin safe and healthy. There are hundreds of potential skin issues you might face, and most of them are benign (though not necessarily enjoyable to look at). Whether you need a skin expert for medical dermatology or esthetic reasons, you can depend on Refined MD for all of your skin care needs. Call us today at (408) 688-2082 to schedule your skin care appointment in San Jose.