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Savannah Dermatologist | Savannah Age Spots | GA | Savannah Skin Pathology |


7001 Hodgson Memorial Drive Suite 5
Savannah, GA 31406
(P) 912-349-7656                       (F) 912-349-7659



  Also known as the non-preferred terms "age spots" or "barnacles," seborrheic keratoses occur in response to cumulative sun exposure. However, they get the name “age spots” because they usually start becoming more visible with age (commonly in the 40′s). Not to be confused with ephelides (the tan freckles that appear in the summer and disappear by winter), seborrheic keratoses are permanent dark areas that do not fade over time. While they are not a health concern, some forms of skin cancer may look similar to seborrheic keratoses when they first appear, so it’s important to monitor for the appearance of new spots. If you’ve noticed any questionable or changing skin lesions, it’s important to have them checked by your skin care specialist.


• Topical Treatment- Prescribed topical creams can be used to minimize the appearance of these lesions but they are often used in conjunction with other treatments for maximize results.

• Cryosurgery- This technique uses extremely cold temperatures to destroy excess pigment of the skin, which is a contributing factor in the appearance and formation of these lesions.

• Laser Treatment- Here, at Savannah Skin & Pathology, laser therapy can be used to treat these lesions without damaging surrounding tissue. Multiple laser treatments are typically required to maximum results.


What causes seborrheic keratoses?
The skin’s surface layer is called the epidermis, and just below that is the dermis. Melanin gives the skin its color (pigmentation). Sun exposure causes the body to produce more melanin, which is why we get a “tan.” However, with extended sun exposure, the specialized cells (melanocytes) that produce the pigment may produce too much melanin, creating “age spots.” Certain people are genetically more prone to the formation of these lesions, but most often, they develop as a result of repeated chronic sun exposure in conjunction with increasing age.

Where do seborrheic keratoses usually appear?
They can appear nearly anywhere on the body, but typically form in areas with the most chronic sun exposure. These include, but are not limited to, the face, hands, arms, shoulders, chest, and back.

How can the formation of seborrheic keratoses be prevented?
The best way to prevent their formation is to limit sun exposure. However, we know that completely avoiding the sun is not realistic; therefore, we recommend the application of sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 50 or higher that has both UVA and UVB protection. Sunscreen should be re-applied every hour, especially if swimming or excessively sweating. The problem with preventing lesions, such as these, is that even sun damage that was accumulated much earlier in life may still contribute to their formation even today. However, methods of prevention now will still help to reduce the risk of additional skin damage; and therefore, chances of skin cancer later in life.

Savannah Dermatology serving Savannah, 31406, specializing in Age Spots, Dermatology, laser hair removal, rosacea, tattoo removal, skin disease, chemical peels and much more in Savannah, GA.