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Seborrheic Keratosis: old age spots

I see many skin lesions and remove thousands of benign lesions every year with radiowave surgery.

before and 30 days after radiowave removal of several keratoses using radiowave surgery

                                 This patient is shown before and 30 days after radiowave removal of several keratoses using radiowave surgery.

A seborrheic keratosis is a noncancerous benign skin growth also called “senile keratosis”.  Seborrheic keratoses are seen more often as people age. In fact, they are sometimes humorously referred to as the “barnacles”. 

These lesions appear in various colors, from light tan to black. They are round or oval, feel flat or slightly elevated (like the scab from a healing wound), and range in size from very small to more than 2.5 centimetres (1 in) across. They can resemble warts or melanoma skin  cancer though  though they are benign and unrelated to melanoma. Since only the top layers of the epidermis  are involved, seborrheic keratoses are often described as having a “pasted on” or stuck on” appearance.

Presence and frequency increase with age: almost all elderly patients have some. An Australian study found 100% of the over-50-year-olds in their sample had at least one seborrhoeic keratosis (median number of 23 keratoses in the 51-75 year range, and 69 keratoses in the over-75-year-olds). Onset is usually in middle age, although they are a common finding in younger patients—found in 12% of 15-year-olds to 25-year-olds—making the term “senile keratosis” a misnomer. No difference in prevalence exists between the sexes. There is less prevalence in people with darker skin.

With radiowave surgery, the lesion is melted away and no stitches are required.  This type of removal produces excellent scars.  To view before and after pictures of radiowave mole and lesion visit my mole page and click on the Mona Lisa icon.

We biopsy suspicious lesions to rule out malignancy and encourage all patients seeing their dermatologist once a year for a total body mole check.

To find out more about face and neck mole removal or cosmetic facial surgery visit

Joe Niamtu, III DMD

Cosmetic Facial Surgery

Richmond, Virginia


Office Address

Joe Niamtu III, DMD
11319 Polo Place
Midlothian, VA 23113

Office Hours

Monday - Friday
8:00am - 5:00pm

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