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What are Skin barnacles?

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Quick Answer

Skin barnacles are noncancerous lesions on the skin, explains About.com. The clinical name for skin barnacles is seborrheic keratoses. Skin barnacles vary in size from slightly raised areas in the skin to large dark lumps.

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Skin barnacles do not rise from a deep layer of skin, which gives it the appearance of the mass being stuck onto the skin, states About.com. Skin barnacles do not contain the human papilloma virus. Skin barnacles may have a rugged or smooth surface with tiny bumps. Skin barnacles sometimes itch and will bleed once irritated.

Liquid nitrogen and shaving remove skin barnacles, according to About.com. Liquid nitrogen freezes cells in a skin barnacle while leaving the foundation whole. A blister forms over the broken skin and heals itself, but a flat scar that is lighter or darker than the skin is the typical result. A flexible razor blade also removes the top layer of the skin barnacles with similar results as liquid nitrogen, but care should be taken not to create a crater in the skin. Silver nitrate or aluminum chloride is used to stop the wound from bleeding.

Skin barnacles look similar to melanoma, and a doctor should always be consulted about any raises in the skin, advises About.com.

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