Seborrheic keratosis is a type of skin growth that is often harmless. While they don’t require treatment, many patients seek to have them removed due to aesthetics or discomfort.
What is Seborrheic Keratosis?
This type of lesion may sometimes look similar to a mole. It’s caused by an overgrowth of skin cells that technically should fall off, but instead, they become “sticky” and end up piling up on themselves. They are often caused by genetics and sun exposure and appear in adulthood. Once one develops, more are likely to follow. Seborrheic keratosis does not spread and isn’t contagious. They typically grow slowly and may develop texture very gradually.
Is Seborrheic Keratosis Something to Worry About?
Although symptoms are rare with seborrheic keratosis, some patients who have this condition have reported bleeding, itching, and irritation. While seborrheic keratosis isn’t typically harmful, it’s still always a good idea to have it checked because it can be difficult to tell the differences between a safe lesion and a dangerous one. If many seborrheic keratoses abruptly develop together, you should most certainly visit a dermatologist.
Risk Factors for Seborrheic Keratosis
Anyone can develop seborrheic keratosis, but they most commonly occur in:
- Individuals who are 50 and older
- Individuals with a family history of seborrheic keratosis
- Those who have undergone prolonged sun exposure
- Lighter-skinned individuals (however, a version known as dermatosis papulosa nigra is very common in darker-skinned people)
How to Identify Seborrheic Keratosis
- Seborrheic keratosis is characterized by a textured patch that is rounded.
- They are raised and may appear waxy, scaly, bubbled-looking, thick, wart-like, or scabby.
- They’re typically brown in color but may also be black, tan, yellow, white, or pink.
- They may be found in numbers and can appear nearly anywhere on the body.
The majority of seborrheic keratosis lesions won’t require treatment at all. However, if the appearance of yours bothers you, is uncomfortable, or your dermatologist thinks it should be taken off, there are treatment options.
You must have your lesion(s) diagnosed. A dermatologist can do this for you with an exam and/or biopsy. For removal, options include:
- Liquid nitrogen (cryotherapy)
- Curettage and electrodesiccation
- Shave excision
- Topical creams
Why Choose Greco Dermatology?
Founded by Joseph F. Greco, M.D., we are a premier and comprehensive skin cancer center that will focus on the surveillance, diagnosis, and treatment of skin cancer and suspicious lesions. We recognize the burden that skin cancer or worrisome lesions carry with them, and we’re here to partner with you during the entire process of evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment. You can allow us to tackle that burden alongside you so that you will never feel alone in the process. We take great pride in our relationship with our patients, and we provide individualized care with excellent bedside manner with plenty of humor and lightheartedness. We also offer advanced treatments, cutting-edge therapies, and Skin IQ to help you learn protective measures against skin cancer. We provide an overall enjoyable experience where you will receive more than just medical care; you will also receive extra effort in your care.