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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Skin Lesions
      Category : Health Centers > Skin Conditions

Skin Lesions

Alternate Names : Lesions on the Skin

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

A skin lesion is a condition in which an area of the skin has a change in appearance. It may affect one small spot of skin or the entire body.

What is going on in the body?

There are many types of changes that can take place in the skin. These include swelling, warmth, blisters, bumps, color changes, itching, and even pain. When several skin lesions occur at the same time, the condition is often called a rash. Causes for skin lesions can range from allergic reactions to infections and even cancer.

What are the causes and risks of the condition?

There are many possible causes of a skin lesion. General categories include:

  • injuries, including those resulting in bruises, cuts, punctures, scabs, and other damage to the skin
  • insect bites, including those from mosquitoes, ticks, spiders, gnats, flies, ants, bees, and others
  • infections, such as ringworm, Lyme disease, syphilis, measles, chickenpox, scabies, infectious mononucleosis, HIV, genital herpes, and herpes zoster
  • allergic reactions. These can be from drugs or medications, metals, chemicals, soaps, foods, or other materials.
  • primary skin diseases, such as acne, psoriasis, eczema, or rosacea. These often occur for unknown reasons.
  • autoimmune disorders. These are conditions that occur a person's immune system attacks his or her own body for unknown reasons. Examples of autoimmune disorders include systemic lupus erythematosus and inflammatory bowel disease. Both of these conditions can affect many areas of the body.
  • pregnancy
  • other systemic conditions, such as diabetes
  • skin cancer, such as a melanoma or basal cell carcinoma
  • inflammation of blood vessels, called vasculitis, in the skin. An example of this condition is Henoch-Schonlein purpura, a condition that usually occurs in children after an infection.
  • poor circulation, which commonly causes skin lesions in the lower legs known as stasis dermatitis. The poor circulation can be caused by damaged veins or diabetes.
  • Other causes are also possible. Sometimes, the cause cannot be found.


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    Skin Lesions: Symptoms & Signs

    Author: Adam Brochert, MD
    Reviewer: Melissa Sanders, PharmD
    Date Reviewed: 07/24/01

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