Dermatology/Shiny Skin Patch

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Question
Hi Dr. Fisher,

About a month ago I noticed a patch of shiny skin on the outside of my forearm (where the sun hits).  The skin is shiny and wrinkly, however, there are no other symptoms.  It doesnt hurt or itch, and isn't raised or red.  It is slightly darker when looked at in the right lighting.  Over the past month it has peeled slightly a couple of times (dry).  I have been moisturizing daily, which hasn't seemed to help much.  The patch is only about the size of a coin.  Other then the shininess, it appears to be normal skin.  THere is less hair growth in the area (hairs appear shorter and weaker).  Could this be due to sun exposure and the time of year or Is there anything I should consider?

Thanks

Answer
Seborrheic keratosis (seb-o-REE-ik care-uh-TOE-sis) is a common skin growth. It may look worrisome, but it is benign (not cancer). These growths often appear in middle-aged and older adults. Some people get just one. It is, however, more common to have many. They are not contagious.

Most often seborrheic keratoses start as small, rough bumps. Then slowly they thicken and get a warty surface. They range in color from white to black. Most are tan or brown.

They can appear almost anywhere on the skin.

Seborrheic keratoses can look like warts, moles, actinic keratoses, and skin cancer. They differ, though, from these other skin growths. Seborrheic keratoses have a waxy, “pasted-on-the-skin” look. Some look like a dab of warm, brown candle wax on the skin. Others may resemble a barnacle sticking to a ship.

Dermatology

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Michael S. Fisher, <B>Ph.D., M.D.</B>

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