Pigmented skin lesions refer to growths and spots that are caused primarily by the skin’s melanocyte cells, which are responsible for producing the color-giving substance melanin. They’re fairly common and include age spots, birthmarks, moles, and freckles. More often than not, they’re harmless, with most adults having more than a few.
Usually, people have them when they’re born. However, others may develop them from the process of aging and changing hormones or due to sun exposure over time. It’s also possible for them to appear as a result of taking specific medications like hormones and birth control pills.
What to do with pigmented lesions
While pigmented skin lesions are generally no reason to get worried, they should still be monitored closely. After all, everyone’s skin can change. And if you notice your lesions changing, it’s a good idea to see a professional dermatologist. Some changes in the pigmentation lesions you need to keep an eye out for are their color, diameter, size, and growth of new lesions.
Depending on the lesions, you may require further examination and treatment. The most common way of addressing various skin conditions like pigmented lesions is through the use of an IPL solution. As its name suggests, intense pulse light or IPL refers to the transmission of broad-spectrum pulse lights via an applicator that’s placed on the affected area of the skin. The device is constantly cooled and allows the user to change its wavelength and optimize its use.
How are pigmented lesions examined?
Dermatologists often perform skin examinations using a dermatoscopy. With it, they’re able to get a much better perspective of pigmented lesions’ patterns which would not have been clear or visible to the eye alone. With the information that it provides, they can distinguish lesions that are cancerous from those that aren’t.
Some may also use the process of digital monitoring wherein cameras are attached to the dermatoscopic device to help document the abnormal lesions and how they progress. Often, the total-body photography approach is recommended for those with multiple pigmented skin lesions.
For pigmented lesions that are particularly suspicious, some dermatologists may suggest a biopsy, as the test can give them more detailed information than mere visual documentation can. For example, with the biopsy, they’ll know whether or not the pigmented skin lesion is cancerous or not, the level of abnormality, and the appropriate treatment for it.
If the pigmented lesion develops into melanoma, squamous-cell carcinoma, or basal-cell carcinoma or is precancerous, doctors may suggest its removal via surgery. For noncancerous lesions, cosmetic dermatology and laser therapies are often more than enough to address birthmarks, age spots, and other noncancerous lesions.
Having pigmented skin lesions is rarely something to be worried about. Usually, they do little more than give the affected area an unsightly appearance. However, with that said, they can also be an indicator of a more serious skin-related problem. Because of this, it’s always best to seek consultation with a dermatologist. This way, you’ll be able to determine the best course of action to address the issue.