Dermatology/lesions/spots

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I have these mole like things on my lower stomach. They are rough to the touch but do not hurt or itch. I have about 5 of them and they are getting bigger. They are usually a brownish color. Any ideas?

Answer
You have a skin condition called Seborrheic keratosis.

Seborrheic keratosis is a condition that causes wart-like growths on the skin. The growths are noncancerous (benign).
Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Seborrheic keratosis is a benign form of skin tumor. The cause is unknown.

The condition commonly appears after age 40. It tends to run in families.

Symptoms

Symptoms are skin growths that:

Are located on the face, chest, shoulders, back, or other areas
Are painless, but may become irritated and itch
Are most often tan, brown, or black
Have a slightly raised, flat surface
May have a rough texture (like a wart)
Often have a waxy surface
Are round or oval in shape
May look "pasted-on"
Often appear in clusters
Signs and tests

Your health care provider will look at the growths to determine if you have the condition. You may need a skin biopsy to confirm the diagnosis.

Treatment

You usually do not need treatment unless growths get irritated or affect your appearance.

Growths may be removed with surgery or freezing (cryotherapy).

Expectations (prognosis)

Removing the growths is simple and usually does not cause scars. You may have patches of lighter skin where growths on the trunk have been removed.

Growths usually do not return after they are removed. You may develop more growths in the future if you are prone to the condition.



Complications

Irritation, bleeding, or discomfort of growths
Mistake in diagnosis (growths may look like skin cancer tumors)
Distress due to physical appearance
Many growths that come on suddenly (may be a sign of internal cancer)


Calling your health care provider

Call  your health care provider if you have symptoms of seborrheic keratosis.

Also call if you have new symptoms, such as:

Change in the appearance of the skin growth
New growths
A growth that looks like a seborrheic keratosis, but occurs by itself or has ragged borders and irregular color. (Your health care provider will need to examine it for skin cancer.

Dermatology

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

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