Friday, June 26, 2015

Crusty skin spots? What are seborrheic keratoses?

Seborrheic keratoses, sometimes called seborrheic warts or even barnacles (I’ve heard a few dermatologists use this term) are simply skin growths that show up due to age or sometimes for no reason at all. They come in the form of darkened skin, occasionally flesh-colored or brown or black, that resemble small, raised moles or are flat like a wart. They can also feel scaly, although not always.

I have several of these “barnacles,” mostly concentrated around my lower jawline and one above my eyebrow. They all have a scaly texture, and because of this I went to have them checked out by my dermatologist. I just didn’t know if they could be trouble (cancerous) in the future, and I wanted to find out for sure. They turned out to be seborrheic keratoses.

Seborrheic keratoses are noncancerous skin growths. In other words, they aren’t a problem, they just aren’t very attractive. They can be burned off at your dermatologist, or liquid nitrogen might be used. But please know, if you remove one of these spots, you run the risk of having a white, non-pigmented spot where the keratosis was.

If you find you have crusty moles or new scaly places on your skinespecially on your face, I recommend going to your dermatologist and making sure these are just your average barnacles and not precancerous or cancerous growths. To the unknowing eye, the two may be hard to discern, and you obviously want to know if these places are problematic.

I plan to just leave my seborrheic keratoses alone. Sure, once in a while if I pay too much attention to them in the mirror or touch them on my face too much they bother me. But then again, they aren’t anything to worry about healthwise and I know if I mess with them (try to have them removed), it will just be trading one thing (keratoses) for another (possibly noticeable white spots or pigmentation spots). They really aren’t worth the trouble.

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