The senile wart needs a rebrand.
The day I was told I had a senile wart aged 47. According to the Australasian College of Dermatologists a senile wart - "also know as age warts, age spots, brown warts, liver spots - is a Seborrhoeic keratoses. A benign “wart-like” growth on the skin. Seborrhoeic keratoses affect all racial groups and most commonly appear after the age of 40 years although some people may develop them earlier".
Photo: Me, Amanda Ramsay, aged 47, the day of the senile wart announcement.
Excuse me, did you say senile warts most commonly develop after age 40? I have news for you , I am far from senile. My customers and clients aged 40, 50, 60+ are far from senile. Senile, by definition is having or showing the weaknesses or diseases of old age, especially a loss of mental faculties. Now my senile wart (pictured below) is benign and nothing to worry about. They may look weird but they are not cancerous, nor a danger to your health, but folks it feels so MEAN to call it a senile wart. What a god-awful name for something really quite harmless. Gah!
Photo: Said "senile wart" after liquid nitrogen blasting.
Senile warts are usually raised above the surface of the skin and appear to be "stuck on" or look a little like a skin tag. They can occur in varying shades of pink and brown from light to very dark. The surface of seborrhoeic keratoses can feel rough and warty. Oh the joys.
Photo: Apparently these pinkish "freckles" are also a type of senile wart, liver/age spots.
Mine was a small raised bump, with a pinkish colour. My late mother had a few on her face that were darker brown, like a giant freckle. They can sometimes be dry and scaly and become itchy or irritated. Hence the bubbling panic that it's pre-cancerous or cancerous. The Mayo Clinic explains age spots "are very common in adults older than 50, but younger people can get them if they spend time in the sun. Age spots can look like cancerous growths. True age spots don't need treatment, but they are a sign the skin has received a lot of sun exposure and are an attempt by your skin to protect itself from more sun damage. For cosmetic reasons, they can be lightened or removed." The moral of that part of the story is those of us who've spent time in the sun - ermmmm that would be the population of Australia yeah - are going to get senile warts. You can get them zapped off .... and always, like always, get any spot that seems a little strange checked by a professional - don't self-diagnose or ignore.
While I may have entered the skin cancer clinic a little apprehensive and maybe slightly concerned that this pink spot on the back of my hand was something more sinister, it made me laugh out loud to hear the words "senile wart" or "liver spot" and "age spot". The hysterical laughter could have been the relief that I didn't have another skin cancer coupled with the hilarity of the name, senile wart. FFS. I have implored my skin cancer specialist to lead the charge and campaign for a rebrand amongst his medical compadres. I doubt he will.
All this talk of senile warts got me thinking. While I can see the funny side, I appreciate that this may not make some women laugh and may in fact make you feel like shit. Another blow to the mature woman's confidence. As if we peri-menopausal, menopausal and post-menopausal women don't have enough to deal with.
So I'm calling out for a rebrand. Along with "senile wart" and "geriatric mother" I'd like to lump in the term "anti-ageing". It can F-right off. These medical terms and marketing terms only serve to make us feel like there is something wrong with us ... like we are nearing the end. Our use-by date is fast approaching. It really feels like the right time to stop perpetuating the feeling that there is something wrong with ageing, and that youth is the only definition of beauty.
Instead, let's celebrate all that it means to age, have mature skin, and embrace the positivity and privilege of ageing. It's okay to want to take care of your skin - to invest in great skincare, eat healthy food, nurture your body and wear a little makeup if it makes you feel fabulous. It's not vain. It's self-care. Self respect. Self love.
This is the essence of Amanda Ramsay Makeup and my business Secrets from a Beauty Insider. We see you, warts an all! We hear you. We celebrate you. And we will only ever suggest and guide you into products that nurture your skin, care for your skin health, enhance your features to flatter you ... make you look fresh, feel fabulous. Glowing. Alive. Healthy. And feel happy.
As senile warts come with age, and too much sun exposure, you will find below 2 sunscreen products. These suit mature skin, sit beautifully under makeup and while most of the damage was done in our 20's, will hopefully prevent your senile warts from getting worse 😉. The key to premature ageing is wearing sunscreen every day. Yep, EVERY day.
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Sisters we are united in this ageing gracefully journey together and changing the conversation. Youth is not the only definition of beauty.
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