Turning Into a Witch With Too Many Moles This Season?
October 31, 2017
As we get older many of us develop new "moles" which are scaly and brown. The concern of most of my patients is whether or not these are dangerous. Most pigmented nevi or moles which are not dangerous develop in childhood and can change or grow in the first 30 years of life. However beyond the age of thirty, people should not be developing new moles. The one exception are moles that develop in women who are pregnant. Regardless, new moles developing after the age of 30 should be examined to ensure that they are not premalignant or melanomas. The one pigmented "mole" that occurs commonly in older individuals and is not dangerous is a Seborrheic Keratosis or SK for short.
SK's are benign lesions that are hereditary and have no potential to turn into cancer. They are very common and increase in number as one gets older. They can be white, tan, brown or black but they all have a characteristic that is different from moles. That characteristic is scaliness. If you scratch them they are scaly and crusty. Typically scratching will cause small "chunks" to come off them. Moles usually don't have this scaliness. SK's can be removed with freezing so if they become itchy, get in the way of your clothing, or make you look like a witch; we can remove them at our clinic.