Seborrheic Keratosis Treatment

Get The Facts About Seborrheic Keratosis Lesions

Seborrheic keratosis is a non-cancerous growth that is common in people who are middle-aged and older, hence the nickname the “barnacles of aging.” The appearance of seborrheic keratosis is as a warty growth in a white, black, or tan color. Seborrheic keratoses are harmless, but the growths can be a false alarm and create consternation by resembling precancerous actinic keratoses as well as skin cancers. Except for the palms and soles, seborrheic keratoses can grow anywhere on the body, but the most common places are the head, neck, chest, and back.

The symptoms of seborrheic keratosis are minor. Pain is not a symptom, but sometimes the growths can itch slightly. Visually, seborrheic keratosis begins as small bumps with a rough texture. Gradually, the growths thicken, develop to be as large as a half-dollar, and start to resemble warts but with a waxy surface.

The causes of seborrheic keratosis are unknown, but there are discernible trends.

  • Seborrheic keratosis primarily affects middle-aged and elderly individuals but rarely children.
  • People who have fair skin and a family history of seborrheic keratosis are most prone to experience the skin growths.
  • Patients with darker complexions can have seborrheic keratoses, except the growths tend to be smaller.

Rates of sun exposure may relate to incidence rates of seborrheic keratosis. A dermatologist can diagnose a seborrheic keratosis by examining it. In cases where the growth resembles skin cancer, the dermatologist may perform a biopsy. A dermatologist can also use cryosurgery or electrocautery to remove a seborrheic keratosis that is unsightly or causes irritation.

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