Seborrheic Keratosis Treatments

Nearly all people over age 50 have seborrheic keratosis, and the prevalence of the waxy, round or oval shaped wart-like growths tends to increase with age. The growths are not contagious or harmful but can cause discomfort if they catch on clothing or jewelry or are otherwise irritated, so many people prefer to remove them. Fair skinned people with a family history are most likely to develop seborrheic keratosis. Darker-skinned people tend to develop the growths around the eyes. Do not rub, scratch or pick at skin growths; the irritation can cause bleeding, swelling, and even infection. See a dermatologist if a growth quickly appears, grows, or changes; itches or bleeds; or looks dry, flat, rough and scaly.

Causes: The cause is unknown, though some women develop seborrheic keratosis during pregnancy or after estrogen replacement therapy.

Symptoms: Seborrheic keratosis are often tan or brown, but can range from white to black. They can occur anywhere on the skin, except palms of hands and soles of feet. They are most often found on the head, neck, chest, or back. They may itch.

Basic Formula for recovery/healing/improvement: Seborrheic keratosis can resemble skin cancer, so it’s important that a board-certified dermatologist make an expert diagnosis. Sometimes a biopsy will be done to make certain a growth is not cancerous. Seborrheic keratoses can be removed with liquid nitrogen (cryosurgery) to freeze and destroy them. They can also be removed by scraping or cutting away the growth (curettage) or by electric current (electrosurgery). Some growths can be vaporized with various laser treatments (ablation). At times skin revealed after removal of seborrheic keratosis remains paler than the surrounding skin, but usually the new skin blends in as total healing occurs. Seborrheic keratoses generally do not reappear after removal, but new ones may appear elsewhere.

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*Results may vary per patient. Services vary by location.