A seborrheic keratosis is a common non-cancerous growth on the skin that usually first appears in middle age, but as early as 25 or 30 years old. They are often called “barnacles of aging” or “age spots,” but we prefer to call them “wisdom spots.” People can have just one or can have very many of these growths. They can range from flat and tan to slightly raised and skin colored, to very thick, dry, and warty. They can also be very dark brown and with a waxy smooth surface. These harmless but often unwanted skin growths are very common on the scalp, temples, back, neck, arms, and back of the hands. They never occur on the palms or soles.
Seborrheic keratoses seem to run in families, especially with the tendency to have many. Sun exposure may play a role in causing seborrheic keratoses, but this has not been well established
Treatment may include:
- Cryosurgery with liquid nitrogen
- Electrosurgery and curettage
- Shave biopsy/removal, especially if there is concern for adjacent skin cancer