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Skin barnacles, barnacles of the skin, senile wart, age spots, black spots, warty spots, basal cell papilloma, barnacles of aging; all the mentioned terms are common that describes the “Seborrheic Keratosis”
However, some dermatologists use much more acceptable terms such as wisdom mark or knowledge spots.
Well, what is skin barnacles? What are the causes? Who is susceptible to get seborrheic keratosis? What are the symptoms and signs? Is there any complications if I already have skin barnacles, Where it is commonly developed? How I can get rid of skin barnacles? Is there any home remedies I can use?
All these questions will be covered within this article…keep on reading.
Seborrheic keratosis is a natural skin condition that mainly appears as a side effect of skin aging process and it is characterized by its bumpy, waxy, scaly shape with a certain color that ranges from many shades of brown to black.
Moreover, they may also:
- Have round/oval shape with different sizes
- Consists of single or multiple aggregations
- Have rough texture
- Definitely most of them are elevated from the surface of skin
- They may occur anywhere on the body but they are mostly found on the neck, face, chest and your back.
The shape and name of this skin condition may seems to be dangerous.
However; it is extremely common skin condition among people so you do not have to worry about it.
Based on studies that carried out by The British Association of Dermatologists (BAD) it was stated,
“In the UK more than half the men and more than third of women would have at least one seborrhoeic keratosis. By the age of forty 30% of the population would be affected while by the age of 70 it increases to 75%.”
It was also stated in another study that they are uncommon to happen for people who are under 20’s. Moreover, it has no gender bias but it is noticeable in males and females of old age.
Unfortunately, studies show that the causes of skin barnacles are unknown and not defined yet.
The question behind the unknown causes of the disease have been developed and many scientists kept searching.
As a result they found that Seborrheic Keratosis is related neither to seborrheic dermatitis nor to sebaceous hyperplasia!
However, some of them notice that there are conditions associated with the appearance of skin barnacles as follow:
- Excessive exposure to the sun’s harmful radiation
- Seborrheic keratosis may appear after estrogen medication
- Skin barnacles may appear as a result of viral infection
- It may appear if your skin has recently exposed to skin friction
- It may also appear during pregnancy
- It may appear as a result of family history inheritance “Genetically”
- It may developed from the harmless patches of darkened skin that termed by “Solar Lentigo”
- As we mentioned before, it may appear as a natural action for the skin aging process
Well, you have now to know the signs and symptoms of seborrheic keratosis…
They are easily detected as you will notice that these growths on your skin are brown with an appearance that looks like a wart, they appear randomly on different areas of your body.
You will notice that their number increase as you age, you may also experience some signs such as: swelling, pain, itchiness and the feeling of discomfort.
Can seborrheic keratosis develop skin cancer?
No, seborrheic keratosis never turns into any type of skin cancer.
However, your dermatologist may ask you to perform a biopsy to just confirm its diagnosis and make sure that it is seborrheic keratosis, not skin melanoma.
Nevertheless, generally, you do not have to worry about it and make sure that it is a common skin condition.
The removal of seborrheic keratosis could be done in various ways if you feel discomfort with it or if you find that seborrheic keratosis grows quickly, turns black, itches, or bleeds, making it difficult to distinguish from skin cancer.
On the other hand, you can also leave it if you can deal with it and you do not face any kind of problems.
What are the procedures of skin barnacles removal?
The most common removal methods are Cryosurgery, Electro-surgery, and curettage;
Freezing with liquid nitrogen “Cryosurgery”
Liquid nitrogen is a cold liquid that is used under your dermatologist consultant where it is applied on the skin barnacle.
Therefore; you will find that the affected area “freezes”. After few days the skin barnacle falls forming a blister that dries over time then falls by time too.
Sometimes a hyperpigmentation may occur that may fade over time or it may remain and leave a scar and this considered as a side effect for this type of treatment.
Moreover, it may be a painful procedure because liquid nitrogen is – 196 °C, and you may feel stinging sensation that lasts from minutes to maximum an hour and this considered as another side effect.
It is considered as one of the treatment procedures that is accomplished by using a metal hand tool with a small loop at the tip called curette that works on the affected area and by the aid of local anesthesia.
Curettage can achieve the target goal without producing any kind of scars.
However, the procedure requires a good sterilization as it there is a small risk of wound infection or even a viral infection if bleeding occur.
It is considered as one of the treatment procedures that is accomplished by using a device that apply certain electric current and a local anesthesia to the affected area, as a result, it destroys the affected tissue. The procedure does not produce any kind of scars or even bleeding.
This method eradicates the lesion using a blade with the aid of local anesthesia, the procedure is safe and quick with a good result but its cost is a little bit higher than the previously mentioned procedures.
There are many removal procedures but the previously mentioned are the most common, make sure to visit more than a dermatologist for a consultantancy because each case and each procedure is different from one another.
Because prevention is better than cure, you have to:
- Use a daily lotion that prevents the buildup of dead skin and help soften your skin like a glycolic 10% (alpha hydroxy), beta hydroxy, or Amlactin.
- Make sure to use a strong exfoliating product but do not over scrub.