Lesion – Causes, Treatment


In medicine, the term lesion usually refers to all types of skin changes and skin damage. The same or similar lesions can have different causes and require e.g. T. a thorough diagnosis in order to counteract the causes or at least the symptoms with a targeted treatment. The treatments required range from simple measures to help the healing process to surgical procedures to remove cancerous growths.

What is a lesion?

The word lesion derives from the Latin “laesio”, which simply means “injury”. In principle, any type of injury, damage or change in tissue can be referred to as a lesion in medicine. The term is usually limited to damage or injuries to the skin .

Skin lesions – also referred to as skin changes – have very different appearances, starting with small red spots or blisters , through extensive skin changes and discolorations, to deep-reaching ulcers or tumors ( skin cancer ). Frostbite or burns caused by direct exposure to cold or heat also count as skin lesions.

The main visible symptoms of a skin lesion are:

It remains to be noted that seemingly identical skin lesions can have different causes with different courses.


A skin lesion or skin change can be caused by injury or disease. Apart from cuts and bruises , which will not be explained further here, frostbite, burns, scalds , sunburn and radioactive radiation (actinic lesion) are also among the lesions caused by mechanical-physical influences.

In the case of psoriasis or psoriasis, a genetic disposition, allergies and possibly psychological stressors can also play a role as triggering factors.

A major and relatively common cause of skin lesions or skin changes is our own immune system . The immune system can overreact to chemical-physical stimuli such as heat, cold or exposure to light (e.g. sunlight) or to certain food components. The overreaction of the immune system can trigger more or less severe hives (urticaria).

While the symptoms of acne are hormone-related and triggered by inflammation of the sebaceous glands, a boil is caused by inflammation of the hair follicle .

Localized skin changes caused by stinging or biting insects can itch uncomfortably, but are usually harmless unless the insect has pathogens in its luggage that can lead to diseases such as malaria, Lyme disease or tick-borne encephalitis ( TBE ) . being able to lead.

diseases with this symptom

Diagnosis & History

The symptoms of frostbite, burns, scalds, sunburn and also radioactive contamination (actinic lesion) range from simple reddening of the skin to blistering ( burn blisters ). The typical burn blisters develop when the upper layers of skin detach from the underlying dermis due to the effects of heat or cold and the space in between fills with sterile tissue fluid. Blisters caused by frostbite or burns can be recognized by their slightly yellow color. Depending on the severity, burn blisters can heal without scarring if no infection occurs.

Hives or urticaria are first noticeable with small red spots on the skin, which quickly develop into itchy bumps – similar to mosquito bites. The bumps soon expand into small to large wheals. They are formed by edema-like deposits of tissue fluid directly above the dermis and are caused by an increased release of the messenger substance histamine. In some cases, hives can go away on their own once the trigger is identified and removed.


Since the lesion is a collective term for all kinds of abnormal anatomical structural changes, there are also many complications related to it. The structural changes relate to injuries, inflammation, ulcers and other pathological processes in the body. Simple lesions usually heal quickly. However, if there are underlying physical processes that lead to chronic inflammation, massive tissue death can occur.

Autoimmune diseases, for example , cause lesions on certain organs until they are completely destroyed. The immune system attacks the body’s own tissue. Lesions also include ulcers of the stomach or duodenum. In severe cases, gastric perforation can occur.

Furthermore, superficial wounds or lesions are entry points for various pathogens. In extreme cases, sepsis (blood poisoning) can occur. Even small wounds or insect bites may be the starting point for serious infectious diseases or allergic diseases. A tick bite can transmit Lyme disease and a bee sting could possibly trigger anaphylactic shock .

If the lesion is degenerated cancer cells, this forms the starting point for the spread of tumor cells in the body with the formation of metastases . Internal injuries are also among the lesions. This can lead to bleeding, which can lead to death. A particular complication of a lesion is, among other things, cerebral hemorrhage or hemorrhagic stroke. In addition, all infarctions are lesions.

When should you go to the doctor?

Because a lesion is a very general term, it’s difficult to know when to seek medical attention. In the case of injuries that cause long-lasting pain, a doctor should definitely be consulted. Even if the symptoms persist over a longer period of time, it is important to seek the help of a doctor. The most common type of lesion is the hematoma. A so-called bruise is caused by strong external pressure.

As a rule, this clinical picture does not have to be treated by a doctor, since a bruise disappears completely on its own. In some cases, however, the help of a doctor must be sought. It can also lead to the formation of an abscess. In the process, pus fluid collects in a cavity. Internal pressure is also created so that the bacteria and viruses can enter the bloodstream.

To avoid blood poisoning, a doctor should be consulted as soon as possible. Of course, this is just one clinical picture among many others. People affected by a lesion should be able to judge for themselves when a visit to the doctor is appropriate. If there is an injury to the body that can only be healed by medical treatment, then an appropriate doctor should be consulted at an early stage.

Treatment & Therapy

Burn blisters should never be opened because of the acute risk of infection. Cooling with cold water or cold compresses to relieve pain is recommended as the first measure. Under no circumstances should cold compresses from the freezer be applied, as this can further damage the skin tissue through frostbite! In addition to using cooling aloe vera creams, taking acetylsalicylic acid (e.g. Aspirin®) is recommended because it inhibits inflammatory messengers. If necessary, doctors usually prescribe anti-inflammatory cortisone- containing ointments.

Even in the case of persistent hives, the doctor usually prescribes treatment with antihistamines to inhibit the increased histamine release and preparations containing cortisone to contain inflammation.

Skin lesions caused by acne, boils, or ulcers are usually treatable with vasodilating ointments and antibiotics . After therapy, which may include minor surgery (cutting open the area of ​​inflammation), there are usually no visible scars .

To treat stubborn psoriasis that is difficult to treat, systemic measures such as e.g. B. to consider a change in diet and to learn psychological relaxation techniques

Outlook & Forecast

As a rule, the further course of a lesion depends heavily on its causes, which is why no general prediction is possible. In most cases, the complications are very different, although severe symptoms do not always occur. However, a lesion often causes pain or hematoma . These can limit the patient’s everyday life and reduce the quality of life. Under certain circumstances, mobility is also restricted, so that the patient is dependent on the help of other people.

In some cases, entire organs or extremities are affected, which can also lead to death. If the lesion occurs in the brain , it can lead to a reduction in mental abilities, so that there is a problem finding words or a language disorder , for example . In many cases, lesions in the brain are not reversible, so that the symptoms can only be treated to a limited extent.

If the pain is unbearable, an operation or treatment by a doctor is usually necessary. In many cases, anti-inflammatory agents must also be used to avoid consequential damage.


Professional sun protection is of particular importance as a preventive protective measure to avoid skin damage caused by dangerous sunburn. In addition to using effective sunscreen , the best protection is to avoid direct sunlight during the midday hours, or to carefully accustom the skin to direct sunlight in short and then longer intervals.

For the other categories of skin lesions such as autoimmune reactions, infections and hormone-related reactions (acne), it is difficult to take simple preventive measures to prevent such symptoms. In the case of known allergies, the best protection against hives is naturally to avoid contact with the allergenic substances.

↳ Further information: Home remedies for reddening of the skin

You can do that yourself

In the case of a lesion, the first thing to do is to keep calm and protect the body. This makes everyday life easier and improves the chances of medical success. Overloading of any kind should therefore be avoided. In general, it is helpful to develop an increased sense of body . To this end, those affected should pay attention to the signals of their own body and align their everyday actions accordingly. The pain is usually intensified when a movement that contradicts the injury has been carried out. It is therefore important to avoid these and similar painful processes.

In addition, it can be helpful in improving one’s own body’s wound healing abilities. A number of herbal supplements are available for this purpose. It also makes sense to stop or reduce unhealthy behaviors such as smoking , lack of sleep or high alcohol consumption . This can reduce the stress level of the body, which accelerates wound healing. However, taking preparations that promote wound healing cannot replace medical treatment, but only support it. If there is no improvement after a period of rest and rest, a visit to the doctor is essential.

Lisa Newlon
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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.