Skin lesions such as moles, freckles, and birthmarks are a normal part of skin and will not disappear unless deliberately removed by a surgical procedure. Lesions due to an allergic reaction often subside soon after the offending agent is removed. Healing of lesions due to infections or disorders depends upon the type of infection or disorder and the overall health of the individual. Prognosis for skin cancer primarily depends upon whether or not the lesion is localized and whether or not it has spread to other areas of the body, such as the lymph nodes. In cases where the lesion is localized and has not spread to other parts of the body, the cure rate is 95–100%.
Not all skin lesions are preventable; moles and freckles, for example, are benign growths that are common and unavoidable. However others can be avoided or minimized by taking certain precautions. Skin lesions caused by an allergic reaction can be avoided by determining what the offending agent is and removing it from the home or workplace, or, if this is impossible, developing strategies for safely handling it, such as with gloves and protective clothing. Keeping the skin, nails, and scalp clean and moisturized can help reduce or prevent the incidence of infectious skin diseases, as can not sharing personal care items such as combs and make-up with others. Skin lesions associated with sexually transmitted diseases can be prevented by the use of condoms. Scratching or picking at existing lesions should be avoided since this usually serves only to spread infection and may result in scarring. Individuals who have systemic conditions, such as diabetes mellitus or poor circulation, that could lead to serious skin lesions should inspect their bodies regularly for changes in their skin's condition. Regular visual inspection of the skin is also a key to preventing or minimizing the occurrence of skin cancer, as is the regular use of sun screens with an SPF of 15 or more.
Bridget Travers, The Gale Group Inc., Gale, Detroit,