Benign Skin Lesions

The removal of a benign skin lesion, wherever it appears on the body, is regarded as a procedure of low clinical priority. Surgery to improve appearance alone is not provided. The list below gives examples of conditions covered by the policy. This list is not exhaustive:


  • Benign pigmented melanocytic naevi
  • Dermatofibroma
  • Lipomata - patients with multiple subcutaneous lipomata may need a biopsy to exclude neurofibromatosis.
  • Molluscum Contagiosum
  • Post acne scarring
  • Epidermoid / pilar cysts (sebaceous) - rarely truly infected - in lesions with evidence of persistent or recurrent infection the removal of the lesion may be undertaken as an exception.
  • Seborrhoeic keratoses
  • Skin tags
  • Spider naevi
  • Telangectasia
  • Thread veins
  • Warts and Plantar Warts (genital and anal warts are referred to GUM).
  • Xanthelasmas
  • Anal skin tags
  • Keloid scars
  • Childhood vitiligo
  • Tattoos
  • Comedones
  • Physiological androgenic alopecia
  • Corns


Indications for referral include:


Diagnostic Uncertainty

Skin lesions are often referred for specialist opinion because of concerns that there may be malignancy. A routine referral is not appropriate in this scenario.

Once it is established that a skin lesion is not malignant, its removal will not be routinely funded by NHS Corwall ICB though a clinician may request exceptional funding. 



Once the diagnosis of lipoma is confirmed, excision is not routinely funded by NHS Cornwall ICB.


Pyogenic Granulomas (PG)

If due to pregnancy PG usually settle after delivery, otherwise they tend to persist. Those cases not amenable to treatment in General Practice or those cases where there is diagnostic uncertainty should be referred. Beware, amelanotic melanoma can mimic PG. Where PG is excised, histological confirmation of the diagnosis is mandatory.  


Additional Information

Patients who are not eligible for treatment under this policy may be considered on an individual basis where their GP or consultant believes there is an exceptional clinical need that warrants a deviation from the rule of this policy.

Individual cases will be reviewed at the  Individual Funding Request Panel upon receipt of a completed application from the patient’s GP, Consultant or Clinician. In making a case for exceptional clinical need it should be demonstrated that the patient is significantly different to the general population of patients with the condition in question and

the patient is likely to gain significantly more health benefit from the intervention than might be normally expected for patients with that condition.

The fact that a treatment is likely to be efficacious for a patient is not in itself a basis for exceptionality. An application cannot be considered from patients personally. The individual funding request process is described here