Common Skin Issues: Is Minor Surgery the Best Option?

Minor skin disorders are pretty common. In fact, the American Academy of Dermatology confirms that skin disorders affect over 84 million Americans. These conditions include acne, keloids, psoriasis, etc.

For some people, these conditions are just a nuisance. But for others, they can be downright painful and debilitating. This post briefly discusses some of the more common skin disorders and whether or not surgery is the best option for treating them.

What Are Minor Skin Disorders?

Minor skin diseases are disorders that affect the skin, nails, and hair. They can be caused by various reasons, including infections, allergies, or even genetics. These skin problems don’t often pose a serious threat to one’s health, but they can be unsightly and uncomfortable.

These are different from melanoma, a dangerous type of skin cancer that can be deadly. Melanoma prognosis is generally much better when caught early, so if you notice any changes in your skin, it’s important to see a dermatologist right away.

Some of the more common minor skin disorders include:

  • Acne: Acne is a common condition causing pimples or blackheads to form on the skin. It is most commonly seen in teenagers, but it can affect people of all ages. Acne is usually treated with over-the-counter medications, such as benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. In some cases, prescription medications may be necessary.
  • Keloids: Keloids are raised scars that form when the body produces too much collagen at a wound site. They can occur after surgery, injury, or even just from shaving. This condition is more common in individuals with darker skin, but it can affect anyone. They can be treated with surgery, corticosteroid injections, or silicone gel sheets.
  • Psoriasis: It is a chronic skin problem causing the skin to become red and scaly. It affects about 2 to 3% of the population and is more common in people with certain autoimmune conditions, including Crohn’s disease or rheumatoid arthritis. While nothing cures psoriasis, it can be managed with medications, light therapy, and other treatments.
  • Skin Tags:  Skin tags are small, flesh-colored growths that can form on the skin. They are benign (non-cancerous) and often occur in areas where the skin rubs together, such as the neck, armpits, or groin. Skin tags are usually removed for cosmetic reasons.
  • If you consider this type of surgery, look for experienced surgeons who can perform the procedure with minimal scarring. Ask for referrals or look online by searching “skin tag removal near me” to narrow your search.
  • Moles: These are dark, raised or flat spots on the skin. They are usually harmless, but some moles can become cancerous. It is vital to have any new or changing moles checked by a doctor. Moles can be removed for cosmetic or medical reasons.

Common Signs and Symptoms of Minor Skin Diseases

While skin disorders have different signs, here are the general symptoms :

  • Skin that is red, inflamed, or scaly
  • Pimples, blackheads, or whiteheads
  • Dry skin
  • Itching or burning sensation
  • Painful skin lesions
  • Raised scars

When Is Surgery an Option for Minor Skin Problems?

In general, surgery is only considered for minor skin problems if the issue is causing you pain, discomfort, or distress. For example, you might consider a chronic venous insufficiency treatment when your legs feel heavy, achy, and uncomfortable. If you have psoriasis, you might opt for surgery to remove affected skin if the plaques cause pain or making it difficult to move.

Keloids often don’t go away on their own and can continue to grow, so surgery may be necessary to remove them. Skin tags are usually benign and don’t cause any symptoms, but they can be removed for cosmetic reasons.

You can get rid of moles for either aesthetic or medical reasons. If a mole is cancerous, it will need to be removed with surgery. But even if a mole isn’t cancerous, you may still want to have it removed if it’s bothersome or you don’t like the way it looks.

The decision to have surgery for a minor skin problem is ultimately up to you. Discuss all of your options with a qualified physician before deciding.

Types of Surgery for Minor Skin Problems

Numerous surgery types can be used to treat minor skin problems, including:

Excision

Excision is the removal of the entire growth or lesion. This type of surgery is typically used for moles, warts, and seborrheic keratosis. Your surgeon will numb the area and then cut out the growth.

Shave excision

Shave excision is similar to regular excision, but only part of the growth is removed. This leaves a smaller scar. Shave excision is often used for skin tags, seborrheic keratosis, and warts because these growths are often raised above the skin’s surface.

Curettage and electrodesiccation

Curettage and electrodesiccation are two-step processes used to remove superficial skin cancers, such as basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. First, the growth is scraped away with a curette (a sharp, spoon-shaped instrument). Then, an electric current is passed through the area to stop any bleeding and kill any remaining cancer cells.

Laser surgery

This type of surgery uses a concentrated light beam to remove the growth. This type of surgery is often used for warts, seborrheic keratosis, and moles. It can also be utilized to treat more aggressive skin cancers, such as basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.

Cryosurgery

Cryosurgery involves freezing the growth or lesion with liquid nitrogen. This type of surgery is usually used for warts, seborrheic keratosis, and moles.

Preparation for Minor Skin Surgery

Before having minor skin surgery, you will likely have a consultation with your doctor. During this appointment, your physician will examine the growth or lesion and ask about your medical history.

They may also require a biopsy – a procedure to remove a small tissue sample for laboratory testing. This can help your doctor confirm the diagnosis and rule out other conditions.

After Your Surgery

Some swelling, bruising, and soreness after your surgery are normal. But these side effects should improve within a few days. Your doctor will give you instructions on caring for the area after surgery.

This may include keeping the area clean and dry and applying ointment to the wound. You should also avoid strenuous activity and exposure to the sun until the area heals.

In general, most people heal quickly after minor skin surgery with no complications. However, it comes with some risks, such as infection and scarring, as with any surgery. Ensure to talk to your doctor about all of the potential risks and benefits before having skin surgery.

The Bottom Line

Surgery may be the best treatment for minor skin problems for some people. But it’s not the only option. There are also medical and home remedies that can be used to treat many common skin conditions.

The bottom line is to discuss all of your options with a qualified physician before deciding.