Seborrheic Keratosis

What causes seborrheic keratosis?

Seborrheic keratoses are benign, common, genetically inherited skin growths. They often start as small, rough bumps that slowly thicken to a wart like appearance.If a person has seborrheic keratosis, is common to develop several growths over the course of their life. They are most commonly found in middle aged to older people. Although seborrheic keratoses can sometimes appear similar to other benign growths like moles, warts, or actinic keratoses, upon close inspection, they differ in the brown waxy surface appearance. As seborrheic keratoses are not harmful, they often do not require treatment. They may be removed for cosmetic reasons, if they become irritated by friction or if they reveal any suspicious features. After a seborrheic keratosis is removed, it generally does not return, but a new lesion may occur elsewhere.

Seborrheic Keratosis Characteristics

  • Initially, a small rough bump, that slowly thickens
  • Waxy, raised surface
  • Brownish color, although some may be black or gray
  • Commonly found on face, neck, chest, back, scalp and stomach
  • Not painful, but may be itchy

Seborrheic Keratosis Treatments

  • Cryosurgery employs liquid nitrogen applied with either a swab or a spray to cause frostbite to the targeted seborrheic keratosis. This creates a blister at the site and the lesion resolves upon healing of the blister.
  • Electrocautery cauterizes or burns the growth, fully removing it, after the area is numbed with an anesthetic.

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