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Your Aging Skin

Dr. Susan Goodlerner Explains What’s Normal and What’s Not

Your body has gone through a lot of changes over the years. But none may be more obvious than changes in your skin. Some skin changes are normal and others could be cancer. To help you know the difference, we talked to Dr. Susan Goodlerner, a Torrance board certified dermatologist and a Clinical Associate Professor at Harbor UCLA.

Seborrheic Keratosis
“These are tan or dark brown scaly or warty growths. They often look like you can peel them off and are sometimes lighter than surrounding skin. They’re completely normal and not a medical concern. Seborrheic keratoses are easily removed using liquid nitrogen or cauterization. Removal is considered cosmetic and not covered by insurance.”

Liver Spots or Age Spots (Lentigos)
“These are brown spots like a large freckle on your face or hands. They can grow to the size of a pencil eraser. They actually have nothing to do with your liver and result from sun exposure. They’re called lentigos and are normal when they’re brown and all one color. If they develop areas of black or appear two different colors, see a dermatologist. They could be a pre-melanoma cancer. We can get rid of lentigos with prescription lightening drugs or lasers. Removal is considered cosmetic and not covered by insurance.”

Seborrheic Dermatitis
“This is a severe flaking or dandruff in the scalp, ears, or eyebrows and around the nose. You can shampoo your scalp and eyebrows using an over-the-counter dandruff shampoo. On your face, start with an over-the-counter 1% cortisone cream. If the dermatitis doesn’t clear, visit a dermatologist.”

Cherry Angioma
“Cherry angiomas are a collection of dilated blood vessels that appear as a red dot or red bumps. Sometimes they look purple. They appear in 85% of us after middle age. They occur on the chest, back or sometimes the waist line. They too are normal and can be removed through cauterization or laser surgery. Removal is considered cosmetic and not covered by insurance.”

Easy Bruising (Purpura)
“As skin weakens due to age and sun exposure there is less support for blood vessels so they’re more prone to injury. Blood thinning drugs can make it worse. You can prevent easy bruising by wearing long sleeves, pants or gloves when working around the house or in the yard.”

Skin Cancer
“There are three types of skin cancer: squamous cell, basal cell and melanoma. If you have any spots or moles that change color, shape or size, please make an appointment with your dermatologist right away. The cure rate for skin cancer could be 100% if all skin cancers were brought to a doctor’s attention before they spread.”

Categories: Healthy Living,News

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