Lumps and bumps may be part of our features, a so-called “beauty spot”. However most of them are not so attractive and can be the focus of an unwelcome interest in our face. Some spots, or lesions, can be nasty and require urgent medical attention.

Dr Elisabeth Dancey will look at the lesion with a dermatoscope and provide a working diagnosis. If the lesion is suspicious it will be suggested to visit a dermatologist or the GP. If it is benign (not nasty) then you may elect to have it removed in a simple procedure. Only benign lesions are removed and there is no cutting involved.

Depending on the sort of lesion it can be shaved off or cauterised.

Shave Excision

Shaving off lesions is a simple way to remove most lesions. Local anaesthetic is injected underneath the lesion to make it stand up like a cherry on a cake and then the lesion is sliced off – painlessly. Some cautery is applied to shrink the scar and to stop any bleeding. A waterproof dressing can be applied if necessary.

Shave excisions leave a small white flat scar in the place of the lesion – something to be considered before you decide on treatment.

Really small lesions, or flat ones such as brown spots or dry spots respond better to cautery. In this case a cautery probe is applied to the lesion which instantly burns and shrinks the unwanted tissue. The resulting brown/black area may fall off immediately or over the ensuing 10 days.

Any tissue removed is sent to the lab in order to confirm the diagnosis.