Seborrheic Keratoses

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What is a Seborrheic Keratoses?

A seborrheic keratosis is a noncancerous skin growth. They usually appear as brown, light tan, or black, and can appear waxy, scaly, and slightly raised. While they can appear anywhere on the body except for the soles of the feet or the palms, they most commonly appear on the face, head, scalp, neck, chest, and back. They are harmless and not contagious, and while they usually do not require treatment, they can become irritated by some clothing.

While the exact cause of seborrheic keratoses is not known, the growths tend to run in some families, so genetics may play a role. Those who are over the age of 50 are generally more likely to develop these growths, or if you have a family history of the condition.

Common signs of a seborrheic keratosis include:

  • Round or oval in shape.
  • Light tan, brown, or black in color.
  • Is flat or slightly raised with a scaly texture.
  • May be itchy.

Treatment Options for a Seborrheic Keratoses

For those with a seborrheic keratoses that becomes irritated or bleeds, removal is often an option. There are a number of removal options available, including:

  • Cryosurgery: Freezing the lesion with liquid nitrogen can effectively remove it. However, this option is not always the best choice for raised, thicker growths.
  • Electrocautery: This includes numbing the area and then destroying the lesion using an electric current. This method can be used alone or with scraping, specifically with thicker lesions.
  • Curettage: The treatment area will be numbed and a special scalpel blade will be used to remove the growth. Cryosurgery is sometimes used along with this technique to remove thinner or flatter growths.
  • Ablation: This involves using different types of laser treatments to vaporize the growth.
  • Hydrogen Peroxide Treatment: For raised growths, your dermatologist may prescribe a solution of 40% hydrogen peroxide, which is applied to the skin. This treatment has been proven effective is eliminating a seborrheic keratosis.

Following treatment for seborrheic keratoses, the skin may appear lighter at the site of removal. This will become less noticeable over time. While most lesions will not return, it is possible to develop a new one on another area of the body.

Ideal Candidates for Seborrheic Keratoses Treatment

If you have a seborrheic keratosis that causes discomfort due to irritation, experience many growths over time, or notice growths that bleed or grow rapidly, be sure to see a dermatologist such as Dr. Erwin. She will carefully assess your skin growths to determine the best plan of action. It is always better to be too cautious than ignore a growth that could potentially lead to a serious problem. Contact our office today to schedule your appointment.

Contact Us Today

If you are bothered by a seborrheic keratosis and would like to learn more about your treatment options, contact our office by calling 979-543-9933. We will be happy to assist you in scheduling your initial appointment with Dr. Erwin, during which she can assess your lesion and determine the most effective plan of action.