Seborrheic Keratosis: Age spots caused by genetics and time
These are by far the most common benign lesions that dermatologists see on the skin. Also referred to as “age spots”, “barnacles” or “wisdom spots” these growths appear as though someone has literally pasted them onto to the skin. They are usually tan, yellow hued, or brown, but can be almost any color in between. Some people will have one, while others (with a genetic tendency) may have hundreds! These benign growths have no cancerous potential and are not dangerous, but they can be unsightly. Sometimes they can be flat and dark brown and can be difficult to distinguish from an abnormal mole. If you have any question whatsoever about a new dark spot on your skin, you should be examined by a dermatologist.
Sadly, there is no great cream or medication to improve seborrheic keratoses. Your dermatologist can treat them cosmetically with liquid nitrogen; however, this procedure is generally not covered by your insurance. Freezing does carry the risk of leaving a light mark behind. For more information, see our previous blog post on “Age spots: Barnacles on the ship of life.”