Pigmented lesions are skin growths and spots that are caused by melanocyte cells. Melanocyte cells are the cells in the skin that produce melanin, which is responsible for giving skin its pigmentation. When these cells produce too much melanin, pigmented lesions form.
There are several different types of pigmented lesions. Common ones include birthmarks, freckles, moles, and age spots. Many of these are harmless, although people may want them removed for cosmetic reasons. Occasionally, these can be signs of skin cancer.
Because some pigmented lesions can be a sign of cancer, people should have them checked out by a medical doctor. It’s especially important to have any abnormal or changing lesions inspected. Patients don’t necessarily need to go to the emergency room every time they notice a lesion, though. Often, patients can ask their primary care physician to check any suspicious lesions during a regular wellness exam.
Any patients who have pigmented lesions that they’d like removed should, of course, see a provider who offers treatment for lesions when it’s convenient for them to do so.
Many pigmented lesions can be reduced or removed using a surface laser treatment. These treatments are done as outpatient procedures, often right in a doctor's office. They take only a short time and are an effective treatment option for harmless, but unsightly, non-cancerous lesions. (Pre-cancerous and possibly cancerous lesions should be tested with a biopsy.)
A couple of different doctors offer laser treatment options for pigmented lesions. Dermatologists, who specialize in skin conditions and treatments, and internal medicine specialists, who focus on health issues that adults face, may provide treatment. Both doctors are also able to identify possibly cancerous pigmented lesions that should be tested.
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