Skin Lesions: Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment & More Updates

Skin Lesions: Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment & More Updates

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What are skin lesions?

A spot on the skin that has an abnormal growth or looks in comparison to the skin around it is referred to as a skin lesion.

Primary and secondary skin lesions are the two different types that might occur.

Primary skin lesions are abnormalities of the skin that are abnormal and either present at birth or can be developed during the course of a person’s lifetime.

Primary skin lesions that are aggravated or manipulated can lead to the development of secondary skin lesions. For instance, if someone scratches a mole so hard that it bleeds, the crust that forms on top of the mole is now considered to be a secondary skin lesion.

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Conditions that cause skin lesions, with pictures

Different kinds of skin lesions can be brought on by a wide variety of illnesses. The following is a list of all 21 probable causes and kinds.


The face, neck, shoulders, chest, and upper back are the most prevalent areas to be affected by acne.

Acne is characterized by the presence of blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, cysts, and nodules that can be rather uncomfortable.

In the event that it is not treated, it may result in scarring or the darkening of the skin.

Cold sores

A cold sore is a painful blister that can occur near the mouth and lips. Cold sores are red and packed with fluid.

Oral and genital herpes are caused by the same viruses, herpes simplex 1 (HSV-1) and herpes simplex 2 (HSV-2). HSV-1 and HSV-2 are also responsible for genital herpes.

Before the cold sore can even be seen, the affected area will frequently start to tingle or burn.

These blisters can appear singly or in clusters, and they leak a yellow fluid that is clear in color before they crust over.

Stress, menstruation, illness, or prolonged contact with the sun can all bring on a recurrence of blisters.

Actinic keratosis

Actinic keratosis is a thick, crusty, or scaly skin area that is normally less than 2 centimeters (cm) in size, which is about equivalent to the size of an eraser on a pencil.

It manifests itself in areas of the body that are frequently subjected to the sun’s rays (the hands, arms, face, scalp, and neck).

It has a pink hue most of the time, although its undertone might be brown, tan, or even grey.

Allergic eczema

The symptoms of allergic eczema include itchiness, redness, scaling, or rawness of the skin.

It frequently appears on the hands and forearms and can have the appearance of a burn.

In addition to this, it can create blisters that leak, ooze, or crust over.


Impetigo is characterized by a rash that is itchy and blisters that are filled with fluid and can easily burst, leaving behind a honey-colored crust.

The rash most frequently appears in the region that encompasses the mouth, the chin, and the nose.

The disease is very common in young children and infants.

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Contact dermatitis

The symptoms of contact dermatitis include itchiness, redness, scaling, or rawness of the skin.

It can emerge anywhere from hours to days after an allergen has been in touch with the body.

A rash caused by contact dermatitis can be identified by its distinct borders and develops at the site where your skin was in contact with the irritant.

In addition to this, it can create blisters that leak, ooze, or crust over.


Psoriasis is characterized by the development of silvery, scaly, and well-defined skin patches.

It is most frequently found on the head, the elbows, the knees, and the lower back.

It could be irritating, or it could be asymptomatic.


The chickenpox virus causes blisters to form all over the body that is itchy, red, and filled with fluid at various phases of the healing process.

In addition to a rash, other symptoms of chickenpox include fever, body aches, a sore throat, and a loss of appetite.

The chickenpox virus can spread even after all the blisters have closed over and the rash has subsided.


Even if there are no blisters present, shingles can still generate an extremely painful rash that may feel like it is burning, tingling, or itching.

The rash caused by shingles manifests itself in the form of a linear stripe pattern that most frequently appears on the torso. However, the rash can present on other parts of the body, including the face.

The rash is made up of clusters of fluid-filled blisters that are very fragile and tend to leak fluid when they break.

It is possible that the rash will be accompanied by other symptoms such as a low fever, chills, headache, or exhaustion.

Epidermoid cysts

Epidermoid cysts can appear on the face, neck, or anywhere else on the body.

Large cysts may cause pressure and pain.

They do not cause cancer, contain the protein keratin, and advance at an extremely sluggish rate.

They are frequently confused with sebaceous cysts, which are characterized by their content consisting of sebum.

MRSA (staph) infection

This is a serious ailment that requires immediate medical attention. It’s possible that you need urgent medical care.

The methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) skin infection frequently manifests as a painful, raised, red pimple that may drain pus. This condition is similar to the symptoms of a spider bite.

The infection is brought on by a strain of Staphylococcus bacterium, sometimes known as staph, that is immune to treatment with a wide variety of drugs.

When the bacteria enter the body through a break in the skin, such as a cut or scrape, it produces an infection.

The infection, which requires treatment with potent antibiotics, has the potential to lead to more serious illnesses, such as cellulitis or a blood infection, and must be treated immediately.

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This is a serious ailment that requires immediate medical attention. It’s possible that you need urgent medical care.

Cellulitis is characterized by painful, puffy, reddened skin that may or may not ooze pus and spreads rapidly.

It is brought on by the introduction of bacteria or fungi into the body through a break or cut in the skin.

Additionally, the skin could feel heated and sensitive to the touch.

It is possible that you have a serious infection that requires medical attention if you also have a fever, chills, and red streaks from a rash.


Scabies is characterized by a rash that might be pimply, composed of small blisters, or scaly. This rash is notoriously irritating.

In addition to this, it generates elevated lines that can be either white or flesh-colored.

It could take anywhere from four to six weeks for symptoms to show.

The likelihood of developing impetigo increases if you have scabies.


A boil is a painful, raised bump that might be red and has a center that is yellow or white.

Although it can show up anywhere on the body, the face, neck, armpits, and buttocks are the most typical places where it does.

It is possible for it to burst and leak fluid.

An infection of a hair follicle or oil gland by bacteria or fungi is the root cause of this condition.


A clear, watery, fluid-filled blister that is larger than one centimeter in size is referred to as a bulla.

Friction, contact dermatitis, and even other types of skin conditions are all potential causes.

It is possible that there is an infection if a clear liquid turns milky.


A blister is an area on the skin that is characterized by being watery, transparent, and filled with fluid.

It can be a vesicle, which is smaller than 1 centimeter in diameter, or a bulla, which is more than 1 centimeter in diameter. It can also be found alone or in groups.

It is possible to have it in any part of the body.


A nodule is a growth that can range in size from small to medium and can be filled with tissue, fluid, or both.

It is typically larger than a pimple and may have the appearance of a smooth, hard elevation beneath the skin.

It is mostly harmless, although there is a possibility that it could cause discomfort if it were to press on other structures.

It’s also possible that it’s hidden deep inside the body, in a place that you can’t see or feel.


This is a serious ailment that requires immediate medical attention. It’s possible that you need urgent medical care.

A change that may be seen on the surface of the skin in either its color or its texture is referred to as a rash.

It could be brought on by a wide variety of factors, such as an allergic reaction to a medicine, an allergic reaction to an insect bite, an allergic reaction to a fungal skin infection, a bacterial skin infection, an infectious disease, or an autoimmune disease.

The majority of rash symptoms are amenable to treatment in the comfort of one’s own home, but severe rashes may require prompt medical attention (especially those seen in combination with other symptoms, such as fever, pain, dizziness, vomiting, or difficulty breathing).


The itching, swollen welts known as hives appear after an allergic reaction has taken place.

They are bright red in color, heated to the touch, and slightly uncomfortable.

They might be quite little, spherical, and ring-shaped, or they can be quite huge and shaped in a random pattern.


A keloid is a lumpy or hard region of skin that can be unpleasant or irritating. Keloids can develop after an injury to the skin.

The region may have a flesh tone, or be pink or red in color.

The symptoms manifest themselves in the location of a prior skin injury.

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A raised lump with a rough surface that can be found on the skin or mucous membranes is known as a wart.

It is caused by a virus known as human papillomavirus, which comes in many different varieties (HPV).

A wart can develop on its own or in clusters with other warts.

It is possible to spread it to other people because it is infectious.

What causes skin lesions?

An infection on or in the skin is the most prevalent factor that leads to the development of a skin lesion.

A wart is a typical example. The human papillomavirus (HPV), which is responsible for the development of warts, can be transmitted from one person to another through the transmission of warts. Direct touch is another method through which the herpes simplex virus, which is responsible for both cold sores and genital herpes, can be transmitted.

Lesions of the skin can appear anywhere on the body if the person is suffering from a systemic infection, which is an infection that affects the entire body. Chicken pox and shingles are two diseases that fall into this category. Both MRSA and cellulitis are examples of infections that can lead to serious complications or even death if left untreated.

Hereditary skin conditions include moles, freckles, and other blemishes including freckling and moles. Lesions that are present at the time of birth are referred to as birthmarks.

Other forms of dermatitis, such as allergic eczema and contact dermatitis, are sometimes brought on by an allergic reaction. Sensitivity of the skin is a symptom of a number of diseases and disorders, including diabetes and poor circulation, and it can be a precursor to the development of lesions.

What are the different types of primary skin lesions?

Moles, birthmarks, acne, and other types of acne are all primary skin lesions. The following are some examples of other sorts.


Lesions on the skin that are filled with a clear fluid are known as blisters. Vesicles are another name for small blisters that are typically smaller than one centimeter in size. Blisters of any size might be referred to as bullae or just as blisters.

These lesions may be caused by the following:

sunburns, steam burns, insect bites, infections caused by friction from shoes or garments, viral infections


Macules are little spots that can be brown, red, or white in color, depending on the type. Typically, their diameter is somewhere around 1 centimeter. Freckles and flat moles are two examples of this condition.


Under the skin growths, such as certain kinds of cysts, are referred to as nodules, which is a phrase that is used to describe them. The average nodule is less than 2 centimeters in diameter. When the nodule grows to a certain size, it may begin to harm the skin that is above it.


A papule is a lesion that is elevated, and the majority of papules form alongside a large number of other papules.

Plaque refers to a collection of papules or nodules on the skin. People who suffer from psoriasis often have plaques on their skin.


Pustules are papules that become infected and fill with pus. In most cases, acne, boils, or impetigo are to blame for their appearance.


Lesions that can cover little or vast portions of the skin are known as rashes. An allergic reaction can be the root of the problem. When a person comes into contact with poison ivy, they often get a rash due to an allergic reaction.


Wheals are a type of skin lesion that is brought on by an allergic reaction. Wheals are sometimes referred to as hives.

What are the different types of secondary skin lesions?

It is possible for primary skin lesions to progress into secondary skin lesions if the sores are inflamed. The following are the most prevalent types of secondary skin lesions:


A crust, also known as a scab, is formed when dried blood accumulates on top of a skin lesion that has been scratched and irritated.


Scales are patches of skin cells that grow up and subsequently flake off the skin. Scales can be produced by actinic keratosis, which is a form of skin cancer.


Scars are permanent marks left on the skin by injuries such as scratches, wounds, and scrapes that don’t heal into healthy, normal skin. Instead, the skin grows back as a raised scar that is thick and thickened. A keloid is a medical term for this type of scar.

Skin atrophy

When portions of your skin become thin and wrinkled as a result of poor circulation or excessive use of topical steroids, this condition is known as skin atrophy.


In most cases, ulcers are brought on by a bacterial infection or some kind of physical trauma. They frequently come hand in hand with a lack of circulation.

Who’s at risk for skin lesions?

Hereditary skin lesions are responsible for certain cases. People who come from families with a history of moles or freckles are at an increased risk for developing these two forms of skin lesions themselves.

It’s possible that those who have allergies also have a higher risk of developing skin lesions connected to their allergy.

People who have been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease such as psoriasis will have a lifelong increased likelihood of developing skin lesions.

How are skin lesions diagnosed?

A dermatologist or general practitioner will perform a comprehensive physical examination in order to diagnose a skin lesion. This will involve inspecting the skin lesion and asking for a detailed report of any symptoms that you have been experiencing.

It is possible that in order to confirm a diagnosis, samples of skin will be taken, a biopsy of the affected area will be performed, or a swab will be removed from the lesion and sent to a laboratory.

Through the use of the Healthline FindCare service, you are able to search for dermatologists in your region in the event that you do not currently have one.

How are skin lesions treated?

The treatment for skin lesions is determined by the underlying cause or causes of the condition. When diagnosing a patient, a doctor will consider factors such as the type of lesion, the patient’s personal medical history, and any past attempts at treatment.


Topical medicines are frequently the first-line therapy option because of their ability to relieve inflammation and protect the affected area. In addition, topical treatment might provide mild symptom alleviation, such as relief from pain, itching, or burning that may be produced by the skin lesion.

You may be given oral medications to assist reduce the symptoms of the disease, including skin lesions if your skin lesions are the consequence of a systemic infection such as chickenpox or shingles. These treatments may be prescribed to you by your doctor.


In order to treat and alleviate the symptoms of infected skin lesions, the lesions are often punctured and drained.

Mole spots that appear suspicious and have been shifting in appearance over time might need to be removed surgically.

Hemangiomas are a type of birthmark that is caused by abnormally developed blood vessels in the body. The removal of this kind of blemish typically involves the use of laser surgery.

Home care

Certain skin lesions cause a great deal of itchiness and discomfort. You might find some relief by using some tried-and-true home cures.

The itching and burning that can be produced by certain skin lesions can be alleviated with the use of oatmeal baths or lotions.

Absorbent powders or protective balms can be used to minimize friction and prevent further skin lesions from developing in areas where the skin rubs against itself or an article of clothing. This can help alleviate the symptoms of contact dermatitis that are caused by chafing.

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