The skin is the bodily organ with the largest surface area in the human body. Similar to other organs, the skin is also affected by internal and external factors, which can cause benign growths or cancerous tumors.
Skin conditions should first be clearly diagnosed via dermoscopy and/or skin biopsy. Then the Center for Aesthetic Medicine can recommend treatment alternatives. The most common treatment for skin growths is surgical removal, which is effective, but can leave scars. Fortunately, non-surgical methods are available, particularly for non-malignant benign growths, which are quite common. Since benign growths are not harmful, they have a good prognosis. Below are the most common benign growths that the Center for Aesthetic Medicine treats:
- Seborrheic keratosis
- Fibroepithelial polyps
- Pyogenic granuloma
- Cutaneus horns
- Adenoma sebaceum
- Sebaceous cysts
The Center for Aesthetic Medicine also treats the following disorders:
- Xanthelasma - Xanthelasma is a benign condition that appears yellow in color, typically located on or around the eyelids. It is caused by local cholesterol accumulation. As people age, they are more likely to get larger xanthelasmas, and more of them. Surgical removal, performed under local anesthesia, is effective, but typically leaves small scars. It can pull the eyelid skin and affect natural eyelid closure, and is not recommended for large xanthelasmas. Therefore, large growths are typically removed using CO2 (carbon dioxide) or Erbium lasers under local anesthesia. The outcome for most patient xanthelasmas is usually good. Treatment of deep growths that have penetrated the eyelid muscle or long-standing growths can leave flat, pale scars.
- Syringoma - Syringomas are relatively common small, skin-colored benign growths whose size and number tend to increase over time. The Center for Aesthetic Medicine removes syringomas using ablative CO2 lasers, which deliver the best aesthetic results.
- Actinic keratosis and Bowen's disease - These growths are considered pre-cancerous and should always be removed. Photodynamic therapy (PDT) in conjunction with laser therapy has been proven effective treatments for these conditions, producing excellent aesthetic results.
Non-surgical technologies and treatments of skin growths
Ablative laser treatment removes the skin-growth cells while promoting better aesthetic outcomes than surgical solutions. Each treatment at the Center for Aesthetic Medicine is tailored to the type and number of growths, as well as their location.
- Ablative Erbium:YAG (yttrium-aluminum-garnet) laser treatment - Er:YAG is an invasive laser treatment that is safe and effective for removing benign growths.
- Ablative CO2 laser treatment - The Center for Aesthetic Medicine uses ablative CO2 lasers, such as the UltraPulse ActiveFX device, which accurately removes skin growths and delivers the best aesthetic results. After the growth is removed, physicians use the UltraPulse DeepFX laser device to penetrate deep into the skin, which stimulates new collagen production to improve the aesthetic look of the skin.
- Chemical peeling - With chemical peeling treatments, physicians use chemical solutions to remove benign and malignant skin growths, lighten pigmentation spots and improve and resurface skin texture. These results are achieved through the gentle removal of the outer skin layer. The face is the most common area treated; however chemical peeling can be done on other areas, such as the cleavage and arms. This treatment method is most suitable for people with light skin tone. The duration of recovery depends on the level of skin peeled: superficial, intermediate, or deep.
- Photodynamic therapy (PDT) - Photodynamic therapy involves the activation of a chemical sensitive to blue or red light sources. PDT has been used since its FDA approval in 1999 for treating pre-cancerous actinic keratosis. It is used at the Center for Aesthetic Medicine to treat a range of skin conditions, including acne, sun-damaged skin, and cancer. In this multi-step treatment, first, aminolevulinic acid (ALA) is applied to the affected areas, which makes the skin more sensitive to light rays. Then, the skin is exposed to a series of laser treatments and light sources that make the skin produce photochemical responses that get rid of the blood vessels, eliminate spots, remove growths and dramatically improve skin quality.