Seborrheic Keratoses

Skin Conditions & Treatments > Seborrheic keratoses

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            "Liver spots", "barnacles", "old-age spots": whatever you like to call them, I prefer to call these super common lesions "wisdom spots". Seborrheic keratosis (the medical term basically means greasy bump) are extremely common and completely benign skin lesion that occurs in adults. They tend to run in families so you can usually thank your mom and dad for giving them to you. You may remember your mom or dad having "a lot  of crusty moles" on their back as they reached the golden years. The longer you live, the more you tend to have, hence my favorite term for them is a "wisdom spot". They come in a variety of shapes, size, colors, and textures and can be pretty much anywhere on the body. I get consulted on these spots frequently because they can grow quite large and are frequently a source of worry for my patients and frequently they primary care doctors as well. Luckily, they never turn to cancer and you are welcome to keep them as they won't hurt you.

           For some people, seborrheic keratosis can get irritated and become itchy and downright aggravating. They can catch on your clothing and rub, especially along the neckline, under the bra, and along the hairline. There are a variety of treatments for seborrheic keratosis if you want them gone. For clearly irritated lesions, frequently the insurance will cover treatment. If you don't like them because of how they look or because they are "ugly", the insurance does not cover cosmetic treatment so I charge a cash rate of $100 for the treatment of 1-15 lesions. My favorite method is applying liquid nitrogen, a very cold spray. The spot gets darker in color and then peels off in about 7-10 days. Over time, they can recur and over the years, you will get more. Remember, you are getting "wiser" and so naturally, you will have more "wisdom spots".

            Other methods for removal that I offer include shave removals, cautery removal, and cautery followed by curettage. I use these methods less frequently but may utilize them if a lesion is particularly large or if perhaps I have concerns about the diagnosis and need to perform a biopsy as well.

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