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Skin Lesion Removal

What Are Skin Lesions?

Skin Lesions are bumps such as moles, cysts, warts or skin tags. Most are benign (non-cancerous), but they can be painful, unsightly or restrict movement; you may want to have them removed. Most skin lesions do not cause serious problems, but you may want to have them removed for practical or cosmetic reasons.


A mole is a spot on the skin that is usually round or oval in shape. It may be small or large and range in color (brown, pink, red, or black). A skin mole may be flat or it may be raised.

The skin mole is referred to in medical terms as a nevus. Skin moles are extremely common; one may find moles on any part of the body. A skin mole can be removed using several different methods.


A cyst is generally formed on the surface of an organ (can also develop on various internal organs). Generally speaking, most cysts are harmless (benign). They are usually, filled with air, infected fluids or semi-solid substances such as sebum.

A cyst may be caused by a defect during fetal development, an infection or some unknown reason. Many people may notice small, hard lumps under their forearms or wrists, for example. These lumps are actually a form of cyst called a sebaceous cyst. A lump in the wrist may be a ganglion cyst. Some people develop a cyst on their vocal cords. It is not unusual to discover a cyst under one's scalp or face.

While a cyst may not be harmful or cancerous, it can be extremely painful. Surgical intervention may be necessary if the cyst does not drain naturally.


A wart is usually a small, non-cancerous tumor that grows on top of the skin. Warts often resemble a solid blister or a cauliflower, and can seem either very light or very dark compared to the surrounding skin. Warts are usually painless, but can cause burning or itching.

Warts are caused by a viral infection called the human papillomavirus virus (HPV). The HPV is contagious and can be passed from person to person by direct or indirect contact. The virus can also spread from one body location to another. The virus enters the body through an area of skin that is cracked, peeling, or moist. However, not everyone with HPV develops warts.

There are many different kinds of warts, including:

  • Common warts usually grow on the fingers or the backs of the hands and are sometimes called "seed warts”
  • Flat warts most commonly seen on the face and forehead of an infected person. They can occur in large numbers, with many warts clustered together.
  • Plantar warts grow on the pressure points on the bottom of the feet, and large numbers of these warts may cause difficulty with walking, running, jumping, and even standing. These warts may look like callous, thus, it is important to get a doctors diagnosis.
  • Genital warts grow on the genitals, in the pubic area, between the thighs, and inside the vagina and anal canal. They are transmitted through sexual activity.

Skin Tags

Skin tags are usually small flaps of skin that protrude from the body and vary in shape, size, texture and color.

Skin tags commonly grow on the corner of the elbow, eyelids, armpits, and on the neck, but they can virtually grow anywhere on the body. Skin tags can appear as a flap attached to the skin or on a "stalk-like" structure of skin called a peduncle.

Skin tags are considered by dermatologists to be small benign (harmless) tumors. Normally, skin tags grow very slowly to a specific size, up to ½ inch long and then cease growing. Skin tags are appear mostly on adults beginning in middle age. Skin tags more commonly affect women than men. A tumor that appears to be a skin tag, but grows rapidly and consistently, may be harmful and should be evaluated by a doctor.

Skin tags are not a source of medical urgency, and they are most often painless. However, skin tags may grow on areas of the body where they may become irritated through friction with jewelry, clothes or any other materials. Some skin tags are located in areas that can be bothersome, such as when they are attached to an eyelid. They may also be simply unwanted for cosmetic reasons. Nevertheless, skin tags can be removed safely and painlessly by physicians.

How We Can Help

We can remove your moles, cysts, warts or skin tags.

Many simple procedures such as wart, cyst, mole and skin tag removals can be performed at Torrance Memorial Physician Network. These are done in our offices and can include standard surgery, freezing, cautery or laser.

Feel free to ask your doctor about our skin lesion removal options.

All procedures are directed by the guidance of your Torrance Memorial Physician Network primary care physician.