Seborrheic Keratosis

These non-cancerous skin growths, also known as barnacles, occur most often in aging adults. They may look like moles or warts, but are different. They are not related to sun exposure or any virus and are not contagious.

Physical exam

The lesions may be brown, black, or flesh-colored, and may be scaly, waxy, and have a "pasted on" look. The skin growths may be multiple or single and can appear anywhere on the body, but usually develop in sun-exposed areas. The lesions may grow fast and look like skin cancer in some cases.


  • While no treatment is required, the lesions can be removed if they become bothersome or for cosmetic reasons
  • Scraping (curettage)
  • Freezing with liquid nitrogen (cryosurgery)
  • Electrocautery (use of an electric current to burn off the lesion)
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