Seborrheic keratosis is a harmless skin growth that often occurs in middle age or older people. They can occur as a single lesion but frequently they are multiple. They are usually brown in color and feel rough or crusty. They are sometimes called barnacles. The cause of seborrheic keratoses is unknown, but they tend to run in families.
Since these lesions are benign, they do not generally need to be removed. If there is concern for malignancy or if the lesion is irritated, itchy, or bleeding, further treatment is often performed. They can also be removed for cosmetic concerns. Treatment options include cryosurgery with liquid nitrogen or shave removal.
Skin tags are another common skin growth. They look like hanging skin. They may occur from skin rubbing against skin in sites such as the neck, groin, underarms, and eyelids. They are more numerous in people who are overweight and in pregnant women. Treatment is unnecessary unless they are frequently irritated or removal is desired for cosmetic concerns. Removal may not be covered by your medical insurance. Treatment usually involves local numbing medicine, and the lesions are snipped with surgical scissors.
Learn more about seborrheic keratoses and skin tags. Philadelphia-area patients can contact Dr. Elizabeth Spiers' office to schedule an evaluation. Call (215) 230-4592.