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Why Do I Have Rough Brown Spots?

By DuPage Medical Group Dermatology

Have you noticed an appearance of rough brown spots or bumps on your skin as you have grown older? If you have, you are not alone. As we age, we have the potential to develop benign (non-cancerous) skin tumors known as Seborrheic Keratoses (SKs). These lesions are the most common benign skin growths that dermatologists see on patients. The good news is that SKs are harmless and have virtually no malignant (cancerous) potential; however, their appearance may be concerning.

SKs can be raised or flat and can appear almost anywhere on the body. They are almost never seen on the lips, palms or soles of the feet. Sometimes SKs can range in color from light tan to dark brown, and frequently have variations in colors within the same lesion. These lesions also have texture variations. Sometimes they are flat with a shiny or waxy appearance, and often they can have a “stuck on” like appearance, as if they can be easily scraped or picked off. We do not recommend this as such trauma to the skin may result in scarring or possible infection. SKs are often smooth, but can be rough in texture, and usually crumble if they are picked at. Many people often believe they are moles or warts due to their appearance. SKs are benign, however, because of their variable appearance it is recommended to have them checked by a dermatology provider. It is important to make sure they are indeed SKs, and not moles that are suspicious for malignant Melanoma, which can have color variations similar in appearance to SKs.

Many patients are unhappy with the cosmetic appearance of these lesions. SKs can form on our faces, near our eyes, on scalps, and on other highly visible areas such as our upper backs, etc. If you have these lesions, they can be easily removed by your dermatology provider by a few different treatment methods. Sometimes lesions need more than one treatment for complete resolution, and the removal is generally considered cosmetic and not covered by insurance.


Topics and Subtopics: Skin Health

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