The word “lesion” often makes people think of wounds. But this medical term describes any type of abnormal tissue. Here are five common types of lesions that affect the skin and shouldn’t be ignored.

When you have a lesion on your skin, it means that there’s an area that doesn’t match the surrounding tissue. For instance, acne and freckles are types of skin lesions.

Since we have so much skin on our bodies, it’s easy to see how lesions can be incredibly common. It’s also very important to take note of them because many are harmless, but they can also indicate a serious problem.

Dr. Laureen Forgione-Rubino can help, whether you have a skin lesion affecting your appearance or your health. She recommends scheduling a consultation at her private practice in Manchester, Connecticut, if you notice any of these five skin lesions.

1. New skin growths

As you might imagine, one of the most important reasons to pay close attention to your skin involves cancer. There are numerous types of skin growths — and not all are cancerous. However, melanoma is, and it can spread quickly without treatment.

Skin cancer symptoms might include:

  • A new spot on your skin
  • Changes in an existing spot
  • A sore that crusts or bleeds and doesn’t heal
  • Rough or scaly spots
  • A scar or wart-like growth with an irregular border
  • Red, shiny, waxy, painful, or itchy spots

If you notice any skin changes, play it safe and see an expert.

2. Moles

Brown spots on your skin often cause confusion because some are harmless and others aren’t. For instance, people usually start developing brown spots after 40 — a phenomenon commonly referred to as age spots, but medically classified as seborrheic keratosis.

However, moles are the type of brown spot that can cause potential issues. These lesions contain a collection of melanocytes, cells that produce pigment. They often appear early in a person’s life and have the potential to develop into skin cancer.

The challenge with moles is that they can be elevated or flat and appear black, brown, or pink. Dr. Forgione-Rubino recommends checking your skin once a month for new moles or changes to existing brown spots, and getting regular professional screenings.

3. Skin tags

Like many brown spots, skin tags are usually harmless. However, that doesn’t mean they don’t cause issues. These lesions typically appear on areas where your skin folds and rubs against itself, like your groin, eyelid, and underarms.

In most cases, skin tags range in size from the width of a pencil’s lead (1 millimeter) to its eraser (5 millimeters). However, it’s also possible for them to grow to a few centimeters. Depending on their size and location, they can become uncomfortable and even bleed or leave you feeling self-conscious.

Skin tags can also be confused with other lesions, including skin cancer. If you think you have a skin tag, it’s important to confirm with an expert.

4. Rashes

Believe it or not, rashes are a type of skin lesion too. These skin changes can vary in appearance and cause, but they lead to a noticeable change in the texture and color of your skin.

Common causes of rashes include:

  • Skin sensitivities to personal care products
  • Allergic reactions
  • Bacterial infections, like strep throat and impetigo
  • Viral infections, like chickenpox and shingles
  • Skin conditions like dermatitis and eczema
  • Skin disorders like psoriasis

If you have a rash that spreads quickly, has blisters, appears suddenly, or looks infected, don’t wait to seek medical attention. Similarly, call 911 if you also have trouble breathing.

5. Lumps under your skin

Finally, you can also develop skin lesions under the surface, like sebaceous cysts and lipomas.

Sebaceous cyst

These bumps are usually harmless and slow-growing. They’re most common on your ears, face, scalp, trunk, and back, but they can form anywhere.

In most cases, they go away on their own, but they often return. If it becomes tender, large, or infected, Dr. Forgione-Rubino could suggest treating it with steroid injections or removing it surgically.


Lipomas also develop under your skin, except these fatty lumps often move when you push on them. They’re usually less than two inches in size, but they can grow and become painful. In these cases, Dr. Forgione-Rubino can remove them with a needle and syringe or surgically.

These are just a few skin lesions to keep an eye on. At the end of the day, contact Dr. Forgione-Rubino to schedule an appointment if you notice any changes with your skin.

Do you have a skin lesion? Schedule a consultation by calling Dr. Forgione-Rubino or requesting an appointment online today.

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