Afflictions of the flesh
Can you say seborrheic keratosis?
B’ys, don’t even bother trying. Be assured though that handling jellyfish doesn’t cause it. Speaking of jellyfish …
In the halcyon days of my bayboy youth, I handled plenty of jellyfish. Now Mr. Google tells me that isn’t why half-a-handful of my fingers once sprouted warts — wirts, as Granny called them.
Nope, not jellyfish. A human papillomavirus caused my warts. Papillomavirus!
I’d just as soon jellyfish were the cause.
So, it was a bumper crop of papillomavirus warts, not jellyfish warts that caused me to fail Grade 9 geometry.
“Harry, my wart-free love,” said Dearest Duck, “how did warts cause you to fail geometry?”
“My Duck,” said I, “I’m glad you asked.”
Specifically, a single wart the size of a small cauliflower on my left middle finger caused my failure. In geometry classes, instead of being an attentive scholar — drawing triangles, calculating angles — I used the needle end of the compass from my geometry set to root at my wart. I dug at that shagger’s roots until they bled.
“That’s disgusting,” said Dearest Duck.
Anyway b’ys, that wart ruined me in geometry.
But I didn’t intend to focus on warts.
I meant to discuss seborrheic keratosis and explain its connection to wisdom.
But first, I must mention titters, euphemistically called skin tags nowadays. Mr. Google makes them sound worse than seborrheic keratosis. He calls them fibroepithelial polyps. And — get this — to make conditions worse, he says they might have a peduncle. A peduncle? For frig sake!
Before you look it up, know this: my cauliflower wart had a whole cluster of peduncles. “Harry!”
Titters are unsightly, dangly — okay, polyp-like — bits of
flesh that can appear anywhere on your body. Yes, anywhere! Even there.
In addition to accidentally slicing them off while shaving your neck or, well, armpits, for example, there are other ways to remove titters.
Drugstores will sell you a variety of pricey products that promise to banish titters. Look for packages marked Skin Tag Remover, or something similar.
Or, as Granny did, take a length of sewing cotton and tie a knot bar tight around the titter’s stem, effectively cutting off the titter’s blood supply. After a spell, the titter will wither and fall like an autumn leaf.
Tying off one or two titters wouldn’t look too bad, I s’pose. But two dozen knotted bit of sewing cotton might cause folks to wonder if your neck was unravelling, eh b’ys? “Harry?”
“Alright. Seborrheic keratosis. I’m getting there.”
“Speed it up then, my meandering man.”
I haven’t been wandering. Not really.
Warts, titters, and seborrheic keratosis are related — kinda. Each is an unattractive, yet mostly benign, skin conditions.
I know because I’ve hosted all three.
As well as the aforementioned warts, I confess to having several skin tags present on my manly flab. Neither one is tied off with sewing cotton
And, like many old codgers, I’m freckled to death with seborrheic keratosis.
A spell ago, I noticed a dark patch of flesh had appeared where my hairline originally ended. It looked as if Dearest Duck had repeatedly chastised me with a sooty fingertip for some imagined offense.
The patch grew darker and began to thicken.
“Don’t pick at that,” Dearest Duck said when she realized I was doing exactly that — picking at the dark patch on a daily basis. “You should get it looked at.”
So I did. Both. Stopped picking. And had the spot looked at.
At The Clinic, The Dermatologist grabbed my chin, shuffed back my head, twisted my face from side to side and said, “Seborrheic keratosis.” “Doctor…?” “Nothing to worry about. It’s just a wisdom spot.” “Doctor …?”
“Most people call those blemishes liver spots. But it’s kinder to call them wisdom spots, don’t you think?”
“Can this one be removed?” “Not a problem,” the doctor, the specialist said. “I can tie a bit of sewing cotton around it and let it rot.”
That’s a lie. The doctor didn’t say that, eh b’ys?
Home from the Clinic, I visited Mr. Google for more detailed information about wisdom spots. I found information supplemented with detailed illustrations and vivid photographs.
Sure enough, Mr. Google agreed with The Doctor.
Seborrheic keratosis, commonly called liver spots, has many names, among them wisdom spots, age spots, barnacles, and one that causes me to remember Grade 9 …
… senile warts, for frig sake. Thank you for reading.