What are these dry and scaly mole-like things growing on me?

Chances are, if you’re over the age of say 40, you may have started to notice a few blemishes appearing on your body. If this is the case, rest assured, as 99% of the time this is absolutely normal and unfortunately just part of the ageing process.

The first things you may notice are little red blood spots. They are completely harmless and can appear anywhere, particularly on the torso. They are often referred to as Campell De Morgan spots or Cherry Angiomas and it is said that on average, by the time you are 30 years old you will have at least one.

But these don’t really stand out from across the other side of the room like the dry and sometimes crusty barnacle-like growths that can grow on the skin. Some people, and even Doctors refer to these scaly mole like growths as senile warts. In fact, if you were to search Google images for ‘Senile Warts’, ‘Basal Cell Papillomas’ or more commonly ‘Seborrhoeic Keratosis’, you would find the same images for all of them.

Senile Wart

Ok, so let’s get one thing straight here concerning the ‘Senile Wart’ tag. They have absolutely nothing to do with a person being senile and they are certainly not a wart. They are purely a congregation of skin cells which have built up over a period of time. The older they are, the more established, dryer and scaly they are likely to be. And of course, they are more noticeable.

They can very easily be removed, especially when in their earlier stages. When they’re newer they are softer and much more easy to take away. However, the really dry and thicker ones not only take longer to remove, they also tend to bleed a little. This is due to the fibrous strands that attach themselves to the body which they produce. So they are easier and quicker to rid yourself of them in their early stages.

Removing them can easily be carried out without the need for injections, blades, lasers, freezing or stitches using cosmetic diathermy. Scabs form naturally to protect the areas and then drop off after a period of around 10 days to reveal new fresh skin.

A good tip to help avoid these pesky critters taking hold is to regularly exfoliate. But don’t waste your time and money buying some gritty shower gel. Just pop down to your local Boots, Superdrug or Poundland and pick up a pair of exfoliating gloves and exfoliate thoroughly. Always do this in the shower unless you want a dirty ring of old skin cells remaining around an empty bath! When we bathe we tend to neglect giving our backs a good clean, mainly because they can be difficult to get to. In the absence of a loofah, I always suggest asking your partner to don the gloves and help you out here. Lather any old shower gel up on the skin and really go for a healthy descaling of the old dead skin cells. Do the whole body but be gentle on the upper chest and facial areas. The skin should be quite pink afterwards due to the increase in blood flow to the surface. This is called erythema and is perfectly natural. This process will also help you avoid the build-up of blackheads and other skin issues.

You may not be able to get rid of the seborrhoeic keratosis that are already there, but you can really make a huge difference to any new ones that are starting to form, by stopping them in their tracks!

To find out more about how we treat this condition, take a look at our page on Seborrhoeic Keratosis Removal>>