Skin Lesions: Understanding What They Are and When to Seek Treatment
Skin lesions are any changes in the color or texture of the skin on any part of the body. Some of these lesions are present at birth, while others develop over time. While most of them are harmless, it is important to monitor them as they can sometimes change and indicate a more significant issue. In this article, we will discuss skin lesions that may occur on the feet, including what they are, and when to seek medical attention.
Moles, freckles, and birthmarks are some common examples of skin lesions that can be present at birth. However, other lesions may develop later in life, such as acne, allergies, warts, sunburn, and abrasions. Most of these are benign, meaning they are not cancerous, and there is no immediate need for medical attention.
However, some skin lesions may be more concerning. One of these is malignant melanoma, a pigmented lesion that can occur on the foot and lower extremity. It is the most aggressive form of skin cancer, and if not detected and treated early, it can spread quickly to other parts of the body, making it challenging to treat.
Another cancer-causing lesion is called actinic keratosis, which can also develop on the feet, particularly the top. It typically appears as a rough, scaly patch of skin that may itch or hurt. It is most commonly caused by long-term exposure to the sun, and the risk increases with age. If left untreated, it can lead to squamous cell carcinoma, which is a type of skin cancer.
Kaposi’s Sarcoma is another type of skin lesion that may appear on the soles of the feet, particularly in people with HIV infection or AIDS. It is a type of cancer that typically presents as purple, reddish, or bluish-black lesions that tend to spread and form large plaques or become nodular. The nodular lesions have a firm, rubbery texture. While it is rare, it is essential to seek medical attention if you notice any unusual skin changes or lesions.
If you notice any changes in the appearance of your skin or develop skin lesions, you must consult a medical professional, especially if they are new, large, or changing in shape, color, or texture. Dr. Gilbert Huang DPM, a foot and ankle specialist, can provide an accurate diagnosis and recommend the best course of treatment. Depending on the lesions’ severity and type, the treatment may involve surgical removal or topical medications.
In conclusion, skin lesions can be harmless or indicative of a more serious underlying condition. While most skin lesions are not harmful, it is essential to monitor them and seek medical attention when necessary. Any changes in skin color or texture should be evaluated by a medical professional, such as Dr. Gilbert Huang DPM, to ensure proper diagnosis and treatment. Remember, early detection is key to successful treatment and prevention of complications.