Removal of Skin Lesions

What is a skin lesion?

A large number of diagnoses can present as skin lesions. These growths can occur on the surface of the skin (the epidermis) or in the deeper cell layers of the skin (the dermis). Examples of epidermal lesions include warts, moles, freckles, skin tags, Spitz lesions, and melanomas. Examples of dermal lesions include sebaceous cysts, epidermoid cysts, and pilomatrixomas. The vast majority of these are benign and are removed for cosmetic reasons or because they have the chance to get superinfected. A small minority are cancerous or precancerous and removal is imperative and urgent.

How is it treated?

The removal of a skin lesion is warranted when it is considered either precancerous or cancerous or if harbors a likelihood for secondary infection.

What will happen in the hospital?

Most often, there is no special preparation prior to the procedure. Local anesthesia will be used to make the area numb. General anesthesia may be used on occasion.

When will my child be discharged?

This is considered a same day procedure; your child will not have an overnight stay.

What will my child's recovery be?

After the lesion is removed, stitches will be used to close the hole left in the skin.

What should I look out for after the procedure?

After the procedure, be sure to keep the area clean and dry. You may keep it covered with a gauze for 1-2 days, If sutures are in place refrain from submerging the wound in a bath or swimming pool for 10 days. Showering is ok; you should pat the area dry after it gets wet. Stitches may remain in place up to about 2 weeks, and then will need to be removed in clinic. You will need to call 203-785-2701 to schedule your appointment with our pediatric surgery team. Pain should be minimal; you may take Tylenol or Motrin as directed for discomfort.

Once you are home, you should call for:
  • Signs of infection at the site including redness, swelling, increasing pain, and excessive bleeding 
  • Fevers or chills 
  • Uncontrolled pain, or any other questions or concerns.