Benign Skin Lesions


Freckles are small brown spots usually found on the face, neck, chest, and arms.

Freckles are extremely common and are not a health threat.

They are more often seen in the summer, especially among lighter-skinned people and people with light or red hair

Causes of freckles include genetics and exposure to the sun.

Since freckles are almost always harmless, there is no need to treat them.

Solar lentigo

What is it?

SL is a harmless patch of darkened skin caused by sun exposure

What does it look like?

The colour varies and the size varies. SLs are often in sun exposed sights like the hands or face

Who can have it?

Very common in people over the age of 40 and sometimes known as : liver spot, old age spot, senile freckle

What are the risk factors?

Sun exposure and advancing age

What else could it be?

A SL may be a lentigo maligna (one form of early melanoma)

How is it diagnosed?

Examination using dermatoscopy can clarify otherwise a skin biopsy will be taken for microscopic examination

What is the treatment?

Nothing, cryotherapy

What about the future?

A 12 monthly skin check is recommended

Actinic keratosis (sun spots)

Sun spots are small, scaly patches  caused by too much sun. People with fair skin and excessive UV (sun) are most at risk.

They commonly occur on the head, neck, or hands, but can be found elsewhere.

They can be an early warning sign of skin cancer, but it’s hard to tell whether a particular patch will continue to change over time and become cancerous. Most do not.

Depending on your circumstances,  your doctor may recommend early treatment to prevent the development of squamous cell skin cancer.

Actinic cheilitis (scaly lip)

Actinic Cheilitis  occurs on the lower lip and is related to Aktinic keratosis.

It is a precancerous condition that usually appears on the lower lips.

Scaly patches or persistent roughness of the lips may be present.  There may also be a loss of the normal sharp border of the lip or intermittent swelling or stinging.

Actinic cheilitis may evolve into invasive squamous cell carcinoma if not treated.

Seborrheic Keratoses (SebK) (old age spots)

The cause of seborrheic keratoses is unknown.

SebKs appear as brown or black growths usually found on the chest and back, as well as on the face. They have a stuck on warty appearance. These unattractive skin spots appear singly or in clusters and are seen more often as people get older. They are commonly itchy.

SebKs are harmless and are not contagious and they do not normally lead to skin cancer. They do not need to be treated but if you decide to have a SebK removed because of the way it looks, or because it gets itchy and irritated by clothing.

Shave excision or cryosurgery can usually successfully remove SebKs.


A dermatofibroma appears as a firm, pea sized lump, usually on the lower leg.

It is benign.

If is removed, there will be a residual scar left in its place after the surgery.