Over age 40 and noticing what appear to be new moles growing on your skin?

For this article I consulted with Dr. Rebecca Tung, MD, director of the dermatology division at Loyola University Health System, Chicago.

“People in the 40-50 age bracket may begin to get scary looking pigmented growths called seborrheic keratoses—which are perfectly harmless and are a part of the aging process.

“Freckles (which are also benign) may also come up over the course of a lifetime, especially if the person has significant sun exposure.

“Generally speaking, a new mole which crops up in an adult should be evaluated.”

A seborrheic keratosis (skin barnacle) can easily pass as a mole. I had one on my back for the longest time and had always believed it to be a mole. It was part of my routine visual skin inspection.

Then one evening I noticed it had changed in appearance. This alarmed me like mad—because all that time, I had thought it was a mole.

I was scared out of my wits and next day made an appointment with a dermatologist.

Her first words, after she took a look at it, was, “I don’t think it’s a mole.” She said it was a seborrheic keratosis.

I had it removed for biopsy anyways, and the result, indeed, came back as a seborrheic keratosis.

Nevertheless, don’t assume that the “new mole” might be a harmless skin barnacle.

People are not supposed to get new moles (as in nevi) as they get older. Have the spot checked by a dermatologist.

Dr. Tung’sdr. tung specialties include general dermatology with skin cancer surveillance, moles, melanoma, surgery (Mohs micrographic, laser, skin cancer reconstruction) and cosmetic dermatology.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and personal/cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.  
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