Skin barnacles, also called ‘barnacles of aging’ are brown black spots and growths on the skin surface that are more embarrassing cosmetically than being a health issue. Medically termed as seborrheic keratoses, this spots are more common among people who cross 50 years. With few telltale signs, there is no hindrance in recognizing skin barnacles or barnacles of aging.
This senile growth on skin is usually brown or flesh colored. It may change to darker hue, when exposed frequently to ultraviolet rays of sun. They can appear anywhere on the body with a tendency to appear on chest. But they are never seen on palm and sole of a person. This annoying skin growth has no gender bias; the incidence of its occurrence among old male and female is similar.
There is genetic preponderance for its appearance. There is no way you can prevent them to appear as you age. As skin barnacles are harmless and benign, you may leave them as they are, or if you prefer, you can opt for skin care treatment and home remedies for its removal.
What Causes Barnacles On The Skin?
Research suggests skin barnacles can have history of inheritance.
For this type of benign growth to appear, aging plays a major role. The skin becomes fragile and thin as you age. Collagen and elastin which lie deep inside the skin decrease gradually. This makes your skin more rigid and spots and wrinkles appear.
If the skin surface is filled with lot of skin barnacles, the dermatologist may perform biopsy to rule out skin cancer. It is less common among dark skin individuals. People with light complexion are more prone to this condition.
Barnacles Of Aging Treatments
As you know by now skin barnacles are simply annoying cosmetic problem, you can leave them without any treatment if they aren’t bothering you. However, at least they have to be checked by a dermatologist to rule out any other skin ailment.
Once confirmed, and if they bleed and crack or if they become irritated due to wearing of jewelry or clothing, they can be frozen the same way as warts and skin tags are frozen. This procedure is called cryosurgery. It is performed with liquid nitrogen and there is minimum invasion of tissue while removing the skin barnacles.
Eelctro- cautery is another way to remove the unwanted skin growths. Here, the barnacles are cauterized with a cautery, an instrument to burn the blood vessels. The dead tissue is then cut and separated from the skin surface. This procedure is followed for larger skin barnacles.
Laser removal is also safe and surest way for treating skin barnacles for cosmetic reasons.
Once the procedure is performed, you have to take care of the wound at home.
- Keep the wound clean to prevent any secondary infection.
- Keep your nails clean and cut. Even if the area causes itching and irritation, avoid scratching the area.
- Cover the wound with sterilized gauze until the wound completely heals.
- Apply anti bacterial ointment over the wound. If you cannot resist itching, apply anti itch ointment or lotion.
If you do not want to undergo laser, cryo or electrocatuery, one of the home treatment is to conceal the skin barnacles with the help of a good skin cosmetic concealer. It will mask the dark skin barnacles.