Satellite Lesions

Conditions that Produce Satellite Lesions

Satellite lesions are not widely talked about, but chances are if you’ve ever had a bad yeast infection or impetigo, then you’ve probably experienced this condition. Satellite lesions are known as secondary lesions in the medical world because they are usually found near the primary or main lesions. Secondary lesions often appear beefy and can develop crusts or become itchy. A perfect example is the swollen, “caked-on” appearance of candida diaper rash. A typical diaper rash produces red spots on the skin. A diaper rash affected by an overgrowth of candida albicans, or yeast, can cause the skin to become further inflamed and produce a worse set of lesions on the skin. Secondary lesions are not limited to one type of condition such as diaper rash, but rather they are a symptom produced when a condition is persistent or has not been treated quickly enough.

So, what other conditions can cause satellite lesions?


Candidiasis is a fungal infection more commonly known as thrush or a yeast infection. Yeast infections are usually quite treatable but they can prove to be fatal to someone with a serious illness such as AIDS or cancer, which compromises the immune system. Candidiasis can affect inner portions of the body such as the throat, bladder, and intestines, however it is most common as a skin condition. The skin often breaks out with red, often itchy welts. In the early stages these bumps appear in patches all over the affected area, but if left untreated can develop satellite lesions. The skin may also burn or feel generally irritated. Thrush of the mouth can produce primary and secondary lesions which turn white in color. This coloring cannot be scraped away and is usually quite painful. Candidiasis in the form of a yeast infection can produce similar white or gray lesions in the vagina and on the vulva. Candidiasis is often treated by applying an anti-fungal cream to the affected area or by a prescription anti-fungal pill. Treatment using pills usually takes about 10 days, while treatment with cream can take considerably longer.

Staphylococcus Aureus

This nasty bacteria is responsible for causing a many skin conditions, such as impetigo, boils, abscesses, folliculitis, and the everyday pimple. In addition to skin conditions, this staph bacteria is also responsible for conditions such as sepsis, pneumonia, and meningitis. Staph-based skin conditions can create a variety of symptoms. Impetigo, for instance, can cause one to sport sores on the skin which are filled with fluid or pus. These sores are generally quite painful and have the ability to turn into ulcers deep within the skin. A grayish-yellow colored crust often covers these sores. Secondary lesions may cause the sores to appear clustered. Boils, which are pus-filled lumps that develop around hair follicles, can also be joined by smaller secondary lesions. Folliculitis is a similar condition in which a hair follicle becomes damaged either by excessive pressure, blockage, or irritation due to shaving. The follicle becomes infected and an itchy rash develops. Pimples and crusting of the rash covered area can follow. Secondary lesions pop up if this condition is left too long before antibiotic treatment is administered.


When doctors are looking for signs of cancer, one of the symptoms that they look for is satellite lesions. Many forms of cancer develop satellite lesions whether they are on the skin or within the body. Melanoma is a form of cancer which typically affects the skin. The tell-tale sign is a brown or blackened patch of skin. Secondary lesions, in this case, will usually appear as smaller versions of the original dark spot. For internal cancers, an x-ray is likely needed in order to detect the secondary lesions. If the x-ray is unable to pick them up, they may be visible to the eye through a probe.

These are just a few of the conditions in which satellite lesions are likely to pop up. If you believe you may have a condition which is producing secondary lesions, it is highly recommended that you see a doctor as soon as possible. While the condition itself may not be overly serious, the development of secondary lesions often means that the root issue is not being fixed. Treatment should be pursued as quickly as possible.