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Eeuuuuw -- what are these things on my skin?

M.A. of Reader:

I was looking at a mole on my arm recently and began to wonder what they are and what causes them.

-- L.B. of Poway

Hey, Matt:

What's behind the phenomenon of skin tags? Since turning 40, these very little strange growths have been happening on my body. Can I grow another appendage? Why is it happening now? My doc says it's because I'm fat.

-- GC in LJ

Ahhh, yes, the boomers are now deep into the ugly-skin-lesion years, aren't they. You used to play softball, knit socks for third-world refugees, study Spanish in night school. Now all your time is spent in contortions in front of a mirror, trying to get a good look at those crusty brown patches, hairy lumps, scary red vein-y things that you're sure weren't there last week. Well, GC, according to my copy of Skin Lesions for Dummies, skin tags are small teardrop-shaped pouches of cells that tend to appear in midlife, serve no purpose, pose no threat, and have no known cause. People who've gained weight seem more prone to them. Why? Who knows. Losing weight won't make them go away. They tend to appear in skin folds (underarms, eyelids, groin). They can be lasered off, frozen off, or cut off if you don't like them, but you can also just ignore them. And please, GC, make sure you tell your doctor that you came to me for a second opinion and that I backed up the original diagnosis. He/She will be pleased, I'm sure.

Moles are a little more complicated. They're basically skin bumps that are with you from birth. They serve no purpose, and for the most part have no real definable origin. Some moles on the trunk or abdomen might be what's known as supernumerary nipples. At an early stage, pre-birth, we all develop what's called a milk line-- two vertical rows of rudimentary nipples like you might see on a dog or cat. Ordinarily, only two remain by the time we're born. But sometimes one or more additional nipples will be left in the form of a "mole." In the case of moles, any time spent examining them for changes is time well spent. At least that's what my lawyers tell me to say.

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M.A. of Reader:

I was looking at a mole on my arm recently and began to wonder what they are and what causes them.

-- L.B. of Poway

Hey, Matt:

What's behind the phenomenon of skin tags? Since turning 40, these very little strange growths have been happening on my body. Can I grow another appendage? Why is it happening now? My doc says it's because I'm fat.

-- GC in LJ

Ahhh, yes, the boomers are now deep into the ugly-skin-lesion years, aren't they. You used to play softball, knit socks for third-world refugees, study Spanish in night school. Now all your time is spent in contortions in front of a mirror, trying to get a good look at those crusty brown patches, hairy lumps, scary red vein-y things that you're sure weren't there last week. Well, GC, according to my copy of Skin Lesions for Dummies, skin tags are small teardrop-shaped pouches of cells that tend to appear in midlife, serve no purpose, pose no threat, and have no known cause. People who've gained weight seem more prone to them. Why? Who knows. Losing weight won't make them go away. They tend to appear in skin folds (underarms, eyelids, groin). They can be lasered off, frozen off, or cut off if you don't like them, but you can also just ignore them. And please, GC, make sure you tell your doctor that you came to me for a second opinion and that I backed up the original diagnosis. He/She will be pleased, I'm sure.

Moles are a little more complicated. They're basically skin bumps that are with you from birth. They serve no purpose, and for the most part have no real definable origin. Some moles on the trunk or abdomen might be what's known as supernumerary nipples. At an early stage, pre-birth, we all develop what's called a milk line-- two vertical rows of rudimentary nipples like you might see on a dog or cat. Ordinarily, only two remain by the time we're born. But sometimes one or more additional nipples will be left in the form of a "mole." In the case of moles, any time spent examining them for changes is time well spent. At least that's what my lawyers tell me to say.

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Tennis with François Truffaut and Donal Logue

The film is helped immensely by casting four leads to play their own tennis
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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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