Skin Cancer

About skin cancer Skin cancer is the most common malignancy.  There are three major varieties: -Basal cell carconoma -Squamous cell carconoma -Melanoma These are discussed in separate entries.

Freckles and Sunspots

What is a freckle and what is a sunspot? A freckle, medically known as an ephelis, is a normal skin finding, present from childhood, with no risk of malignant degeneration. It is a hyperpigmented macule (flat lesion) that occurs in sun-exposed skin and darkens with exposure to ultraviolet radiation. The cause is an increase in… Read More

Keloids and Scars

About keloids A keloid is the result of an exuberant response to skin trauma that leads to excess collagen deposition (i.e. scar tissue). It is on a continuum of normal wound healing, hypertrophic scar and keloid. It develops weeks to months after the antecedent trauma, which may be as trivial as ear piercing or an… Read More


About cysts Cutaneous cysts appear as well-demarcated dermal or subdermal nodules. There are many different types, the most common of which is the epidermal inclusion cyst. Cysts can be categorized based on the histological appearance of the cyst wall. Epidermal Inclusion Cyst (follicular cyst) An “epidermal” inclusion cyst is something of a misnomer since it… Read More

Vascular Malformations

About vascular malformations Vascular malformations may refer to a malformation of any vessel type (arterial, venous, lymphatic, capillary), but in dermatology it usually refers to a capillary malformation (a malformation of the smallest blood vessels).  A capillary malformation is often also called a port-wine stain or a nevus flammeus.  A capillary malformation is present at… Read More

Molluscum Contagiosum

About molluscum contagiosum Molluscum contagiosum is the result of infection of epidermal cells (upper cells of skin) by a poxvirus. It appears as small umbilicated, dome-shaped, skin-colored lesions. A “cheesy” substance can often be expressed from the lesion. Although it can be transmitted sexually, it is also a common non-sexually transmitted infection of childhood. In… Read More

Ingrown Hair

About ingrown hairs An ingrown hair occurs when a hair curves back onto the skin and penetrates it.  The hair can then cause a brisk reaction in the skin, resulting in inflammation and possibly infection.  It usually appears as a skin-colored to red papule, sometimes with hyperpigmentation in chronic lesions.  Often, the hair can be… Read More