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A skin excision is the removal of entire skin growths by using a sharp knife (scalpel) or other cutting instrument under local anaesthesia. This may be done for a myriad of reasons, including the removal of entire lesions for diagnosis or aesthetic reasons. Sometimes the lesion may also need to be removed because it is symptomatic e.g. an inflamed cyst.

The resulting wound is repaired using fine stitches and a scar remains after the wound heals. However, gentle handling of the wound edges with skin hooks produces great results. A dermatologist can subsequently treat it if necessary.

All skin lumps should however be examined by trained dermatologists prior to removal for the most suitable management for both health and aesthetic reasons.

Common indications for skin excision:

  • Epidermal cysts
  • Lipomas
  • Moles
  • Congenital birthmarks like nevus sebaceous, epidermal nevus
  • Xanthelesma

Common lesions that are surgically removed include epidermal cysts also sometimes called sebaceous cysts. These common lumps develop under the skin and grow slowly over time. They do not cause other symptoms and are almost never cancerous. They can be found on the face, head, neck, back, or genitals, and may range in size. Typically appearing like a small bump, these lesions are tan to yellow in colour, and are filled with thick, smelly matter. They do not cause any pain and can usually be ignored. They occasionally become infected, and may cause pain and swelling during that period. Excision is best undertaken when the cyst is not “hot” or infected.

Specialized range of treatments