Skin lesions may be surgically treated by incision or excision techniques that include curettage, cryosurgery, shaving and electrosurgery, according to Medscape. Lesions smaller than 2 centimeters that are not located near the eye, on the ear or on the lip may be easily excised with minimal patient inconvenience.
In curettage, a specialized surgical instrument with a loop-shaped blade is used to scoop away a skin lesion, explains Medscape. Very small, friable lesions may be removed with one scrape. Larger lesions may require several passes with the curette. Electrosurgery may be performed with a stand-alone device that operates on alternating electrical current or with a hand-held, battery-operated ablation device. Both of these devices remove skin lesions with applied heat.
Cryosurgical lesion ablation utilizes freezing agents to destroy some kinds of skin cancers and precancerous lesions, according to WebMD. The most commonly used freezing agent in cryosurgical ablation is liquid nitrogen swabbed onto the lesion.
Common benign skin lesions include seborrheic keratoses, freckles, moles, liver spots, cherry angiomas, pyogenic granulomas and acrochordons, or skin tags, notes the Cleveland Clinic. Cancerous skin lesions include basal cell carcinomas, squamous cell carcinomas and malignant melanomas. Those with unexplained skin changes should consult with a dermatologist immediately.