Any abnormal growth or appearance on the skin is considered a lesion. This would include everything from a mole to a cold sore. In some cases, though, there are reasons to be concerned about a lesion.

Lesions can be present at birth, such as moles and birthmarks, or those that occur as a result of a disease, virus, or infection.

Examples of lesions include:

Acne: Presents as whiteheads, blackheads, pimples, and cysts.

Actinic Ketosis: Thick, scaly patches of skin that appear pink in color

Impetigo: Common in children, presents with pus-filled blisters and itchy, painful rash.

Chickenpox: Creates clusters of extremely itchy fluid-filled blisters that eventually crust over

Boils: These appear when an oil gland or hair follicle becomes infected and creates a red, painful, pus-filled bump with a white head.

Hives: Typically the result of an allergy, hives are itchy, raised welts

Shingles: A painful rash, accompanied by clumps of weepy, pus-filled blisters that are easily popped. Shingles are caused by the same virus as chickenpox and typically appear along the torso. 

Bullae: Caused by friction, these large  blisters are filled with clear fluid.

Nodule: A diverse lesion that can be filled with tissue, fluid, or any combination of the two. They look like smooth bumps under the skin, and are usually painless.

Ulcer: Infected lesions can cause ulcers. This is an open wound on the skin that should be treated by a medical professional.

Scale: When skin cells build up abnormally, it can lead to scaling. These scales flake off as more skin cells are produced.

Scar: Keloids, or scars, occur when lesions heal improperly and leave behind a thick, raised ridge.

Crust: More commonly known as a scab, crust is when dried blood, plasma, or fluid forms a hard, protective layer over an open lesion.

When You Detect a Lesion…

If you notice a new or worsening skin lesion, you should speak to your dermatologist or primary care physician as soon as possible. While most are benign skin abnormalities, some may be indicative of a larger problem. The sooner that lesions are tested and treated, the better chance you have of avoiding more issues in the future.