Dermatology Lesson: Morgan Freeman: The man, the legend, the barnacles….

When most people think about Morgan Freeman, they think about his strong, authoritative voice.  Yet, has anyone stopped to ponder what are those little dark spots on his face?  Do they have any cancerous potential?  We would describe these “spots” as multiple approximately .1 cm-.3 cm (or however much they measure on M.F.),asymptomatic, hyperpigmented, “stuck-on” papules located around the malar and forehead areas of the face.  These lesions behave as “friendly barnacles” along for the journey on his face.  These lesions are thought to represent dermatosis paulosa nigra(DPN).  These are thought to be a variant of SK: seborrheic keratotosis with similar histology, but that typically affect black adults.  It is unknown the exact mechanism of inheritance, although it does occur in family members and may demonstrate a genetic propensity.  Lesions tend to occur around puberty and slowly  increase in number with age.  They do not have cancerous potential and therefore, are only treated if cosmetically undesirable.  However, if they are removed by curretting or freezing, a hypopigmented scar may result.

One Response to Dermatology Lesson: Morgan Freeman: The man, the legend, the barnacles….

  1. conor says:

    Wow, thanks! You know, all this time I thought that the old witch lady in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves called Morgan Freeman’s character “the painted man” because of those very spots, but now my sister tells me it was just because he was black. I don’t like that reasoning as much though, so I’l be sticking with my original theory for now. His skin condition makes the movie better!

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