About Seborrheic Keratoses
Seborrheic keratoses are a standard, benign skin condition. Although they can have an unsightly look, they are not dangerous. The skin growths vary in color, are usually oblong-shaped, and are frequently raised to mimic the scaly appearance of a wart or mole. They may grow anywhere on your body but generally show up on the shoulders, chest, or back. Seborrheic keratoses aren't contagious and are common in middle-aged adults. Most people who have this condition possess numerous skin growths. The diameters of the raised growths might vary from tiny to moderate. It's possible to get basal cell carcinoma and seborrheic keratoses at the exact same location on your body. Consequently, evaluation by an expert is strongly suggested if you think you have seborrheic keratoses. Board-certified dermatologist Rachel Day, M.D. at OneSkin Dermatology in Chambersburg, PA will offer a comprehensive skin examination and treatment alternatives to reduce or remove the growths.
The primary cause of seborrheic keratoses remains unknown. In many patients, redness can occur because of their elevated position, but normally, they don't itch or cause distress. Tight clothes might exacerbate your condition so try to avoid wearing clothes that rub against the elevated skin lesions. Accidently scratching, scraping, or puncturing seborrheic keratoses can be uncomfortable and result in bleeding. Even though it's normal for them to be marginally elevated, they might also be flush with the skin. The pigment of seborrheic keratoses can vary from white, tan, or yellow, to brown or black. The texture of the skin lesions also ranges from coarse to scab-like or scaly.
Seborrheic keratoses generally resemble wart-like lesions. They commonly grow on the chest, shoulders, face, or the back of your body. You can develop just one lesion or a few. A seborrheic keratosis:
- Varies in color, generally from pale tan to black or brown
- Is oblong or round in shape
- Features a standard "glued on" appearance
- Is flush with the skin or slightly raised with a flaky outside
- Varies in size from quite small to greater than one inch (2.5 centimeters) around
- Can itch
Seborrheic keratoses are not typically very painful, but they might become a nuisance based upon their location and size. Take care to not scratch, pick at, or rub them. This will result in swelling, bleeding, and in some instances, an infection.
Based upon the intensity of your skin growth, seborrheic keratoses may be removed by laser therapy, electric therapy, scraping, or freezing. Cryosurgery is also sometimes used to destroy lesions with liquid nitrogen, a treatment that can be quite powerful. Electric treatment (or electrocautery) attacks the lesions through electrical currents. Individuals with minor or flush growths are advised to get the lesions removed through curettage or scraping. Immediately following the elimination of seborrheic keratoses, your skin might be abnormally colored, but this generally dissipates over time, particularly with good wound care. It's important to note that the elimination of the skin growths doesn't guarantee they won't reoccur.
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Seborrheic keratoses can look very similar to melanoma. For this reason, we strongly suggest receiving an evaluation of your skin at OneSkin Dermatology. Board-certified dermatologist Rachel Day, M.D. strives to offer the best professional attention to all of her Chambersburg, PA area patients. We encourage you to stop by our office for an evaluation, as well as diagnostic testing. A very simple screening may alleviate your anxiety and set you on the path to smoother skin.