Barnacle Spots on The Skin: How to Remove Them?

Skin barnacles and age spots can be a result of aging and sun exposure. Learn how to remove barnacle spots effectively for smoother skin.

What Are Skin Barnacles?

Barnacle spots or skin barnacles are small, 10-50 micrometers thick, brownish, or blackish spots that can be found almost anywhere on your skin. They can be caused by sun damage, and it appear on any part of the body, but most commonly on the face, chest, and back. Despite some misconceptions, barnacle spots do not cause any harm nor are they linked to any serious health conditions.

However, are sometimes mistaken for other types of skin growths such as moles and warts. Whilst they are harmless, many people choose to explore removing skin barnacles as they do not like their appearance of them, especially when they are visible on the face.

Are Barnacle Spots the Same as Age Spots?

You may have heard the terms skin barnacles and skin wisdom spots used interchangeably and that’s because both barnacle spots and age spots are types of melanin pigmentation. The two are mostly associated with age, hence the nicknames ‘age spots’ and ‘skin wisdom spots’ due to the fact that they’re often a result of sun exposure and ageing combined. However, the likelihood of developing barnacles on skin significantly increases if you’re from a family in which the condition is common.

How Do Barnacle Spots Appear on The Skin?

Skin barnacles can appear in several different forms depending on the way in which it develops however generally they appear as light-brown spots that are slightly raised on the skin. Gradually, as time goes on barnacles on skin can begin to thicken as well as form a rougher, waxy texture that can be likened to that of a wart. As well as changes in texture, skin barnacles can get darker over time which often can be mistaken for melanoma, despite the skin barnacle being harmless. Regardless of how you these appear, it’s important to monitor your skin barnacles and have a doctor inspect them to ensure everything is fine.

Causes Of Barnacle Spots?

The cause of human skin barnacles is unknown. However, it is believed that the condition can be brought on by exposure to sunlight or ultraviolet light from tanning beds or sun lamps. It is also thought that some medications may also increase your risk for developing these spots on your skin. In general, skin barnacles are very common, especially in those over 40, however, there are some root causes that have been linked to the increase of likelihood of someone developing skin barnacles below.

Exposure To UV Radiation

Skin barnacles are not indicative of sun-damaged skin, though it is believed that a particular type occurs more often in sun-exposed skin. However, this does not mean that skin barnacles do not also appear on skin that’s usually covered up though.


Skin barnacles may develop during pregnancy in some rare cases.

Runs in The Family

It appears that this skin condition can run in families and often be inherited, the risk of developing skin barnacles tends to increase with the number of affected biological relatives.

Symptoms of Barnacle Spots

Generally, the symptoms associated with skin barnacles are visual and more often than not, they are completely unnoticeable in terms of pain and discomfort.


In some very rare cases, an individual might experience pain in the area where the barnacle spot is. However, this is not common and if your barnacle spots are painful, you should seem immediate medical treatment.


Sometimes barnacle spots can become inflamed and therefore appear swollen.


Similarly, to swelling, inflamed barnacle spots can also be tender but generally they’re harmless.


Barnacle spots can become irritated when clothing is rubbed against them and sometimes this can cause them to become itchy.


As the skin barnacles age and the texture becomes harder and waxy, in some cases there can be very light discomfort especially if they’re on areas of the body that rub against clothing.

How To Remove Skin Barnacles Effectively?

Whilst barnacles on skin/skin wisdom spots are harmless, some people opt to remove them from their skin due to simply not liking their appearance. It is not advised to attempt to remove skin barnacles at home and always important to consult a medical professional before undergoing any treatment.

Laser and IPL Treatments

Lumenis offers unique photo rejuvenation treatments using both the Stellar M22IPL and ResurFX™ technologies sequentially in the same treatment session, so that both skin pigmentation and texture can be treated, simultaneously. The Stellar M22 IPL removes both unwanted pigmentation and vascular lesions from the skin, while the ResurFX™ fractional laser stimulates the production of new collagen and elastin fibers in the deeper layers of the skin to address a wide range of aging skin concerns like age and sun spots in one treatment session.


Microdermabrasion can improve the appearance of skin barnacles simply because the procedure works through exfoliating the top layer of the epidermis. However, the final result can be dependent on the original age and appearance so it’s important to discuss this beforehand with your medical professional.

Chemical Peels

Thinner and flatter skin barnacles can sometimes be treated with resurfacing chemical peels, however again it’s essential that the original skin wisdom spot is carefully examined before booking any treatment.

To Sum Up

All in all, barnacles on skin can be caused by any number of factors. Whilst there are several ways to remove barnacle spots, you should be aware that they aren’t a cause for concern. They’re not cancerous, nor do they necessarily signify any underlying problems with the individual’s health. For many people, ignoring the spots and treating them like a cosmetic issue is often the way to go, however if you’re interested in getting rid of your skin barnacles, look at Lumenis’ skin rejuvenation treatments to explore your options. The important thing is to ensure that you any treatment you undergo is done by a certified professional in order to maintain your safety and get the best outcome. You can find the closest clinic offering Lumenis’ treatments here.

About Lumenis
Lumenis is a global leader in the field of minimally-invasive clinical solutions for the Surgical, Ophthalmology, and Aesthetic markets, and is a world-renowned expert in developing and commercializing innovative energy-based technologies, including Laser, Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) and Radio-Frequency (RF). For 50 years, Lumenis’ ground-breaking products have redefined medical treatments and have set numerous technological and clinical gold-standards. Lumenis has successfully created solutions for previously untreatable conditions, as well as designed advanced technologies that have revolutionized existing treatment methods. visit: