Unresectable Skin Lesion

Living with Unresectable Skin Lesions

Skin lesions can appear as bumps, welts, or lumps on any part of the body, and when found with no known cause, doctors many times recommend biopsies as the next step. If a malignancy or cancer is suspected or found, it is typical for doctors to recommend resecting these lesions. Unresectable skin lesions, however, are those which cannot be removed via traditional resection. This can be due to the size or the complicated nature of the tumor, which requires other forms of treatment.

Living with unresectable skin lesions can have challenging effects on the individual:

  • Uncertainty – this can lead to anxiety and depression
  • Pain – depending on the nature of the lesion, they can be painful if on the surface layer of skin, or cause discomfort when pressing against nerves
  • Aesthetics – Lesions can be unsightly, reduce self-confidence, and affect self-image
  • Underlying Diseases – Unresectable skin lesions can be indicative of other underlying health conditions, such as low-level inflammation, poor nutrient absorption, and other systemic problems


When resection is not an option, treating unresectable skin lesions must include other methods. Photodynamic therapy is one example of treatment, which uses light to reduce size and slow the growth of the lesions. Radiation therapy is another option to shrink lesions and slow their growth, while cryosurgery is another that involves the freezing of the lesion to stop cell replication and growth. For deeply placed lesions, ablative and non-ablative laser techniques may be used to shrink or eliminate the lesions.

Prevention is also key in living with unresectable lesions, as is early identification. Consistent physician checkups, examining the skin for abnormalities, and being sure to report any lumps or lesions that appear. Additionally, eating a healthy, balanced diet and staying active can help to reduce inflammation and prevent lesion growth.